A close family friend of mine died recently. She was exactly the type of person I want to emulate. She was honest, but kind. She could be telling you how you’re failing, but you would know that she loved you, and that was the reason why she needed to expose your faults. She was a genuine person, but I know she had her fair share of regrets.
My mom and I talked about her after her calling hours, and it was a good time of reminiscence. Then we settled on the topic of regrets that she had. She had wanted to have me over for dinner, she told my mom a few months before she died. She had stopped cooking after her husband died, so she had never had me over. She also mentioned that she had always been concerned her weight and she would have said that she couldn’t eat something because of that, but that seems pithy in the face of death.
If you had months left in your life, what would you do? It’s a tough question to answer. It’s also a bad question. Why wait until the last few months of your life to live? I hope if I’m ever asked that question my response will be: “Exactly what I’m doing now.” If we aren’t living our lives in a manner that seems worth it, are we living? We need to find what’s important in life and live for that, every day.
People regret more of the things that they didn’t do than the things that they did. People fail to live full lives because of various reasons. Fear, complacency, ignorance, and pride are all aspects of our life that hold us back from living lives that are worth it. However, the biggest thing I noticed about my friend who passed is that she regretted not spending enough time with people.
People are the only important things in this world. Without people, the world is empty. It’s a hunk of rock, floating in a sea of nothingness that will eventually cease to be. People, however, never end. Souls are eternal, and the time we spend with others matters. Even taking a step back and ignoring the eternal, we have to remember that we can’t influence our environment the way we can influence people around us.
George Washington isn’t famous for saving trees, he’s famous for the way he influenced people. Steve Jobs isn’t famous for building the iPhone, but for revolutionizing the way that we communicate with each other. The list doesn’t end. People aren’t famous for environmental efforts, but instead, they’re famous for the way they have contributed to the history of man. The world has its own history, but the people who are valued, the people who are deemed good, are the ones who worked for their fellow-man. It would be hard to find a man like Osama bin Laden to inspire people to save the whales, but he can inspire people into terrible acts of violence.
People matter, plain and simple. The world runs because of people. If we weren’t here, there would be no innovation, there would be nothing new. The world would be a giant game of cat and mouse. Philosophy, music, writing, science – it would all be lost from the face of the Earth, and some day it will be. However, while we’re here my goal is to involve myself with the one thing on Earth that matters: people.
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