” Not how did she die, but how did she live?
Not what did she gain, but what did she give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not, what was her church, nor what was her creed?
But had she befriended those really in need?
Was she ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when she passed away. ”
I saw this quote in a book and I love it! To me, it rings so true. For many of us, the first thing we think when we hear a person has died, even when we never knew that person is, “How did s/he die!?”. That’s our morbid curiosity. There’s nothing wrong with that. But what’s more important than that is how the person lived. I don’t want to think about or dwell on the tragic or sad circumstances of someone’s death. I want to bask in the wonder, love, beauty, and glory of that person’s life and the imprint the life of that person leaves on this Earth with all of us who still live. Even if I never knew that person, I can still be impacted by the life s/he lived.
Have you ever read an online memorial or an obituary in the newspaper for a person who died? While very sad, it can be quite inspiring. Try reading an obituary or online memorial for a stranger and the comments written by those who are grieving and all those caring people who lavish sympathy on the bereaved and the dead. But instead of letting your morbid curiosity take over searching for clues of the causes of death, focus on the details of how that person lived.
Look at the smile on that person’s face in pictures if you can and feel the words written about the person. Look at how that person touched many, many other lives and made people smile, contributed positively to the community in which s/he lived, embraced family & friends, provided kindness to strangers, made people laugh, loved others
This is a great honor to the person and a wonderful gift to the family and friends to have the one they love who is now gone, still affecting the world for the better.
There are so many amazing people, alive and dead. They all deserve to be known, loved, remembered, honored, and acknowledged.
I saw a blog topic recently “What would you want your obituary to say? “. I haven’t completed this as a blog entry but I thought about the concept.
I wouldn’t want mine to just state how I died, how much money I got for working, and other basic details. I would love for it to describe how I was able to brighten people’s days, make them smile, how I loved animals and people and cared for everyone whether I knew them or not. And how I would always be aware of the simple joys of living. I hope that’s how people view me. That’s who I want to be.
Think about how you live. Is it really important how financially rich you are, how many expensive material possessions you have, how many work promotions you achieve, how many school degrees you can obtain, how big your house is, how new your car is, if you have the latest fashion accessories or phone….?
Or does it matter more how you help people, how you listen to people, how you love people, what you contribute to the world around you, how happy you are with the you inside, how living creatures are touched by your life, how full your heart is….?
You may or may not have an advanced school degree or a well respected, good paying job, you may or may not be extremely intelligent, maybe you don’t have much money or a great house or car or anything much but is your heart full of love? Do your veins throb with life? Do you provide consolation, love, and friendship to those in need? That’s all that really matters!
It doesn’t matter what your religion is or if you are religious or not. It doesn’t matter what your skin color or sexual orientation or gender or gender identity is. Your nationality and ethnicity do not matter for how much you are worth. I’m not saying those above things do not matter in certain situations or for how you are treated sometimes, I’m saying they do not make you worth more or worth less. Or worthy or deserving of more or of less.
Think about how you live and how you want to live. And I hope you find deep within you the things you know are important and are able to abandon the things you know are not.
I hope you are having a beautiful night or day wherever you are at this moment.