Corita Kent , once said, “Life is a succession of moments .To live each one is to succeed”. I totally agree. Do you?
Take yesterday , one moment I was laughing at some youngsters I never met being told they need a lot of practice on their guitars to be really good. I was hoping my friend (The judge in question , a guitar player and a former band boy himself) was about to discover the next Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain or Keith Richards.
The next moment, I am gasping for breath, so bad that I had to drive my self to the nearest pharmacy to get an inhaler to keep a totally unexpected asthma attack at bay.
It got me thinking about how fragile we are. I didn’t exactly see my life flash before me , but I have had a brush with death in more ways than one this month.
Earlier this month , I was excited to be going home and making last minute memories taking photos of the University I had just finished training at, next, the car taking my fellow consultants and I to the airport lost one of its back tyres. For over 200 metres horrified and shocked onlookers had their hands in the air and on their heads waiting for the inevitable to happen. By some miracle , we kept our calm , the driver applied some common sense and did not step on the brakes. We were safe and unhurt.
Then I thought of how a fellow consultant I had spent the previous 2weeks with interviewing candidates for a scholarship award died in his sleep.
He was one of the most passionate people I knew and we clicked instantly from the get go.
We had plans to meet soon after the interviews to make some ideas we were both passionate about happen. This sadly was never to be.
Then I thought of another dear friend and an old classmate.
I saw him on Facebook , around 10pm and thought I should respect his boundaries as a newly married young man. I didn’t say hello or ask how he was.
I was shocked to hear , he got killed in a horrific car accident. He had only been married a mere five months before.
I wondered about life and death and tried hard to make some meaning of it.
Most people , myself included say “life is short” , but we act like we have forever. We worry and not live in the moment ,postponing our happiness to “the right time”.
We can only see the potential of our future lives , as we grow and have a certain degree of experience , but even that is a mere potential of hopefully something good or the opposite depending on “how” we live our lives. But there really is no predictable formulae on how we will die. I do however , know that whilst we have it , we can “live”.
We have no control of tomorrow , today really is all we have and can be somewhat sure of.
I also know depending on our attitude, life can be complex and pretty simple in the same breath for each and everyone of us.
But there are other moments in life that can be simple. Those are the moments that we sometimes miss out on , either because we are not content or busy comparing ourselves with others and completely forgetting that comparison is the thief of joy.
I have always asked if it was really worth chasing others dreams , whether a parent or a sibling. Even worse getting into the dangerous territory of a never ending question of if you are good enough. Well if you ever wondered that , will you rather not be here?
I suggest you change your attitude.
Those who are gone might wish they had just a day to do something right…forgive someone, say “I am sorry” , “I love you” , go for that job, be responsible, laugh etc etc
Some come into this world and everyday is a struggle from birth, but the opposite is also true. Some also struggle at the start , but their stories turn around to be a happy and fulfilled one regardless of previous twists and turns .
I have come to learn that even on sad days you will find moments to smile. I found moments to smile on my way to and at my friend’s funeral. First I saw a young goat relaxing underneath some planks on huge moving truck. Then I saw a mad/crazy man who had the most wicked sense of style that will put Common or Andre 3000 of Outcast fame to shame.
I saw my friend’s baby girl for the first time and smiled.
I saw other old friends who were crying and asking “why death was so cruel?” and in another moment hugging and laughing with old friends they have not seen in years and posing for pictures. This got me smiling.
I am not alive because my alarm woke me or I am any special than these two dearly departed and many more who have been called “home”, but I know each day is a rare opportunity to make each moment count and be impactful however little or grand.
Life indeed is for the living. I am grateful to be alive , I will try to live in the moment and I will succeed at it. No excuses.