INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 28: “In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror…. we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.” ― John Steinbeck
This quote is wonderful; because it also refers to death as the ultimate measuring stick for having lived a good life. I was reading a book this morning about a man whose best friend died in an accident when they were both 19. The last thing the friend said to him before he died was profound, more so because they did not know it was his last sentence.
We never get to know the last moment we will breathe. It could easily happen today. For any of us, for all of us. If we are mindful of that in each moment, we will live differently than if we believe we are going to go on forever, or at least into some distant time.
If you are with someone you love today, be mindful of how that is. Be mindful of how you treat that person, and how you treat yourself and your life. Are you kind to self and others? Are you honest to self and others? What do you regret in your relationships? Clean them up today.
What would you do differently if you could live the last week over again. Clean it up today.
As we look at our humanity and our frailties, we need to always be mindful of how they play out in the world around us. Each day, every moment, is writing our obituary for us. What does it say? Is that what you meant it to say?
Today is Memorial Day. As you remember others you may have lost along this time, be mindful of what it is that is most precious about having known that person. Do others feel this for you? Or do you bring sadness, grief and unhappiness with you and leave them behind as you pass?
When we are not living in love, we are living in fear. We do so much damage to our so-called “loved ones” when we attempt to control and manipulate them for our own designs. Like we know better what they can or should do. This is the most crippling aspect of human interface. We must be mindful to not go into these arenas, lest we leave behind a celebration that we are finally done and gone. That is not the legacy we came here to pass on.