2 March 2005
Make the Most of It
Our lives on this earth are rather limited. Sixty, seventy, or eighty years may seem like a long time, but in the grand scheme of eternity, eight years is just a blink of an eye. When you really think about how little time you have here on this world, does it make you want to make a difference? To leave your mark? People are always saying that they want to be remembered. How does one go about doing that? What is the best course of action to take? Do something extraordinary? Save a million lives? Find the cure for AIDS or cancer? Write a best selling novel? Win a Nobel Prize? Travel the world healing the sick and giving money to the poor? I think that life should be less about "making your mark" and more about living your life how you want to live it. I think that life is really about doing your best to make yourself happy and making your time on this earth enjoyable. Life should be what you make it, and you should always endeavor to make it great.
You should learn to love yourself. They, whoever they are, always say that to love others you must first learn to love yourself. There really is a lot of truth in that statement, though. When you truly learn to love yourself, despite all of your flaws and your problems, then you learn what it is like to love another person, despite all of their flaws and their problems. Likewise, you can never forgive others until you learn to forgive yourself. We all do things that make us bow our heads in shame. We all have done things that we think are unforgivable, just as others have done things to us that we think are unforgivable. But to truly be at peace in life, you have to forgive yourself for your wrongs and you have to forgive others for theirs. Don't forget the mistakes that you have made, because they make you stronger, but accept the fact that you messed up and forgive yourself for it and move on. And if someone else wrongs you, don't forget what that person did, because in not forgetting you will treat others better. But strive to forgive them for what they did and accept that everyone makes mistakes and no one on this earth is perfect.
In life, there are two constants: that people are born and that people will die. These two things are the only things in life that will never change. Birth is an easy thing, a happy circumstance. No one mourns over a birth, rather everyone rejoices. Likewise, death should not be so mourned over, but we should try to rejoice. It seems a cruel thing to say, but one thing we need to remember is that the world is not a happy place at times, and at least the deceased are in a place where there is no suffering and there is no pain. Death is not something to be feared so much as it is something to be looked forward to. It really is just the next great adventure in life. Approaching death, you begin to appreciate all of the things that you took for granted in life. I believe that that is not the only time to appreciate things, but we should constantly be appreciative of the world around us, even when it doesn't seem to be the best place to be.
Appreciate the little things in life and do not focus on the negative things that are thrown at you. When a father of three is fired from his job, everyone gets angry and sad because they worry about how the bills will be paid and how they will feed everyone. But as the father looks for a new job, he gets to spend time with his three children and learn to appreciate every smile, every laugh, every tear, and every dirty diaper. Look up at the clouds once in a while and picture the different shapes they make. We do this as children, but as we grow into adults, it seems ridiculous. Why? Take a moment to walk in the park and appreciate the senses in nature: the smell of the flowers and the trees, the singing of the birds, the feel of the grass between your toes and the sun beating down on you. Appreciate the little things. In doing so, you can appreciate the greater blessings that are sent your way.
We are not given much time on this earth. We have but a few years to make our place and to show other show much we care about them. As humans, we often get too wrapped up in the material and business worlds and forget about our personal worlds. My challenge to everyone, and to myself as well, is to step back and truly see the world. Revel in the joy of youth; find peace as you grow older. Don't hesitate to express your true feelings. Don't fear death, but look forward to your golden years. Take the time to bask in the pleasures of life and forget the sorrows for a few minutes every day. Remind yourself that your time is limited and make the most of what time you have left.