Monday, August 18, 2014

If You Knew It Was Your Time

I am writing this article while on a business trip traveling to Hong Kong from New York.  Needless to say, there is a lot of time to fill.  After eating, reading and playing on the iPad, I decided to watch a movie before getting some sleep.  I check out the selection of movies and scroll through the comedy selections – something light before closing my eyes.  I spot a comedy with Robin Williams.  This is great; I break out the covers and get all comfy then start the movie “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn”.  Good thing the cabin lights were out, as there was a point in the movie where I could not stop the tears dripping down my face.  Comedy?!?  No, those were not tears from laughing.  The movie is about a bitter, angry man that finds out he has only hours to live and how he decides to spend it.

The basic idea behind the movie is very thought provoking.  If today were your last day, what would you do differently from every other day?  Would you have a sense of urgency that does not usually exist?  Would you attempt to correct the wrongs that you might have created in your life?  As I sat on the plane, at the end of the movie, my mind went immediately to my family, which I left behind only hours earlier.  I instantly had thoughts of gratitude towards my family and the time that I had to spend with them prior to this trip.  When my Mom’s time came, her biggest desire was not to be alone at the end (which she was not).  While I would want to be with my family, would I sit and wait, or would I want to go and do something one last time?  Bing Crosby, who was an avid golfer, died on the golf course.  Tiny Tim died on stage after the curtain came down on his last performance.  As morbid as those examples are, those men went out doing what they enjoyed (avoiding Nelson Rockefeller on this).

There is the old saying, “Live each day as if it is your last day.”  There is also the thinking about living your life according to the words that you would want heard at your eulogy.  I once heard a speaker talk about time in terms of what if we each had a clock on our foreheads that counted down the amount of time we had left on this earth, but we could not see our own clocks.  How would we live our lives in that case?  Waiting for the closing hours to decide how we wish to be remembered is too late; it is a good idea to start today.  Show gratitude to the people you meet.  Tell the people that you love that you love them – do not assume that they know it.  Be the example you want others to set.  Talk with actions, not just with words.  Live your life to the fullest so that you do not reach the end with regrets.

May you all lead happy, healthy and prosperous lives filled with love and surrounded by people that are meaningful to you.