More often than not, when I check the obits in the paper, I find someone I knew listed there.
I suppose it's a natural by-product of growing older, but lately I tend to wonder how my obituary will read. Will it be a simple collection of informative words constructed by my family and a funeral director? Will my passing be noteworthy enough to warrant a story separate from the obit? Will I have accomplished anything to achieve a positive legacy? Will anyone, other than family and close friends, really care? How will I be eulogized? I'm sure these are questions that most of us tend to ask ourselves now and again.
The thing that interests me is that it seems to take getting older to earnestly consider these thoughts. I certainly never gave them much time as a younger person...certainly not as a teen...and never before entering high school. At least, I don't remember really thinking at all about the possibility of my death back then. Sometimes, like all curious kids, I would wonder about where I was before I was born...and where I would go after I die...but not in the sense that I needed to do something important in between.
Young people, in particular, should understand the value of their time. Because they can do so much more with their sharp minds and highly-functional bodies. So, I propose a federal law that each morning when we get out of bed we are required to say something to remind ourselves that we're not seeing just another sunrise. Maybe something like: (I'm not sure all of this is original...seems kind of familiar)
"This day is a glorious gift...I understand that I will die...My body is not invincible...My time is not unlimited ...I make a promise to myself to do something valuable today, because today is the only day I can achieve anything. I cannot do something constructive yesterday or tomorrow... one is gone forever, and the other never comes."
Somehow I don't think we'll get the law passed that would require this thirty seconds of daily meditation, but think how much better the world would be if everyone walked around with such a mindset. Think of the accomplishments that would be made by those who ordinarily are afraid to do anything. Think of the respect that could finally be shown by each of us... to all of us.
I don't mean any of this in a religious sense. Religion shouldn't matter when considering the value of the life we are given. Who the giver is, is up to the individual. But that's worth thinking about too. I'm just saying that consideration of one's mortality is the perfect stimulant to accomplishment.
I think I'll begin reciting my little "day-starter" each morning. Just maybe I'll get that extra story on some page other than the obits. Why don't you join me?