What if… we all could ( invisibly ) attend our own funeral and watch the count of hands from every single person we met in life vote on if we 1) exhaled warmth, selfless giving, and generosity or 2) simply took up oxygen from earth with no return in exchange for our life… or more importantly, others! How do you think you would fare?
We would see the ” invisible ” people, gathered, the ones we encountered daily in our lives -perhaps the crossing guard at our children’s schools or the teachers who helped the children in and out of the car line-perhaps it was the quiet secretary at the back of the office we never got to know, the nurse who held our hand and squeezed it before our surgery, the child hunting for their lost dog or the plumber who ran late that you were waiting on to get to work. Every living person that you encountered during your tenure on earth. Based on your experience and time shared… even if only moments… what kind of impressions did you leave?
Pretty sobering thought… isn’t it? What category would we fall in… Did we simply use up precious air without giving back much in return for our trips around the sun or did we, truly, understand Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote: ” The purpose of life is not to be happy – it is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make a difference that you have lived and lived well. ”
Long ago Cicero wrote” Not for ourselves are we born?”
Charles Dickens also understood life’s purpose when he wrote: ” No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
” Fourteen year old Anne Frank understood the purpose of life when she wrote: ” No one has ever become poor by giving.”
Her thought lead me to this story….
Don’t we all seek that hidden place within us… that enables us to give without a moment’s hesitation on how the giving might affect us… that sacred place that is so all encompassing that we finally rid ourselves of man’s most destructive weapon -greed?
So until tomorrow… Aren’t we all guilty of telling our children or other family members, close friends -that all we want for them is to be happy? Happiness-at the expense of others is not true happiness-like Dickens observed- real happiness comes from giving to others of the talents God bestowed on us.
Today is my favorite days -Winnie the Pooh