Hardly anything — maybe nothing — is more serious than death. So on that note, consider this: Everyone must leave this world through the simple mechanism of death — unless, of course, they have another escape plan!
Mankind has probably been searching for that alternate escape plan for many moons, and so far, no such luck… Dr. Frankenstein and his try at bringing back the dead for another go at life, albeit not the original life, notwithstanding. And all science fiction stories notwithstanding, saving pieces and parts to be cloned or in some way resurrected at a future date will never take the place of one life granted to all who are born into this world and will one day leave it. Maybe later than sooner; but maybe sooner than later.
We all have a way of getting caught up in life and somehow not even remembering or realizing that we have a limited number of days. We might get kind of mindless about the fact that nothing is more important than the quality of those days we live, and neglecting our families and loved ones or our responsibilities in the quest for more fame or fortune (or even just ordinary recognition and money) is defeating the whole purpose of life.
Do we stop and think often enough that but for the Grace of God we might not even be here today? We could have been killed in that auto accident (or such) we had years ago, or we could have fallen victim to that bout of pneumonia or died on the operating table when we had that emergency appendectomy. And what about that day someone pulled you back onto the curb in time to avoid that truck that was going through the red light? There are so many times we might remember when it could have been the death of us, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t our time. So we’re still here. But for how much longer?
Many people, perhaps because they don’t think about it much, kind of believe they are invincible and have a really long life ahead of them. Well, we learn that just because our mother or father (or both) lived to the ripe old age of 95 or better does not automatically mean that we will. There are no guarantees at all when it comes to how long we’ll live.
So rather than fritter away the first 50 years or so believing we have plenty of time left, why not make every day count in a way that really matters. That does not mean to see how much money you can make, or how much power you can accrue, or how many achievements you can point to that earned you a certificate you could put up on your wall.
That is not to say that such accomplishments that are recognized by a certificate on your wall don’t count, but we can never discount, for example, the unsung achievements of the everyday housewife who devotes her life to her family, who protects her children, bolsters her husband’s flagging spirit when he needs it, saves a bit here and there from the household money to buy that little something that will be the delight of her child’s eye, and manages still to create a dinner out of the little she has left in her version of “Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.”
Consider all those notes written painstakingly on a piece of school notebook paper by some child out there who wanted to express his love for the mother who was always there (perhaps while dad did not have the time), and which Mom always put up on the refrigerator for all to see the love of her little child for her just doing what mothers always do! Can there really be a better testament to a life well-lived than to experience and know the love of your own children?
There is no need to tell mothers what is important in life, and there is no need to tell anyone who has taken the responsibility to do what needs to be done for others, especially in their final years, months, or days. In my view, we are put on this earth to serve our fellow man, and those who choose to just serve themselves are going to be mighty lonely at their own funeral.
If we live long enough and care about anyone, we are bound to experience the death of someone in our circle of life. If we can but imagine how we’d feel if that happened today, while we didn’t get around to apologizing, or telling them we loved them, or giving them the gift we always intended to give them — or even the kind word that we’d been holding back for whatever reason — I can tell you the good news is that you had to imagine that and if the reality is that they are not gone, but still alive, you have time to follow through with your intentions.
The doers of small important things every day are those who freely give away their smiles and cheer, and who offer words of comfort where needed, not being afraid to hug even the homeless man in need of a shower, and having no place to go to get one.
Someday when we’re all standing on the brink of passing over, we may find ourselves saying things like: “I wished I had… [you can fill in your own blank],” or “I’m not happy with the way I lived my life,” or “It’s too late now to… [only you know what you will be wishing you had done.]”
Life is precious… and it is more fleeting than you can possibly know when you’re “only” 50. We may think we have thousands and thousands of days left to “do it all,” while some of us reading this right now might only have days, and are in no shape for those few precious days to do anything.
Don’t waste those moments that you can be of service, if even just to open a door for the person behind you, buy someone a sandwich, forgive a debt or an offense, or leave the person feeling better for having chatted with you for a short while.
While death is inevitable, right now you’re alive and life is precious. Waste it not!