YOU have something powerful to bring to the world
written by john c ashworth
This morning I spent some time looking through notable deaths for 2019 inside the New York Times obituary section of the newspaper. I do this kind of thing a lot more now because I’m getting a little older myself, I lost someone very close to me in December of 2019, and I work as a salesman for a fast-growing technology company that serves funeral homes and funeral directors with their software and technology applications.
I’ve heard varying statistics about how often someone dies.
Every three seconds.
Every eight seconds.
Let’s just say it’s every 10 seconds.
On the other side of that hidden reality are all of the babies being born equally as often.
Death is happening almost constantly. Which makes making the list of notable deaths in any given year quite an accomplishment; and quite humbling to an average guy like me.
Thinking about all of this this this morning, especially in light of present circumstances surrounding the covid-19 outbreak, left me pondering the two things I think about a lot more often now.
First, what might I still be able to accomplish in my lifetime that would place me on this list? Make me famous or notable enough to be invited into the notable death club. That feels important to me. I feel like no matter how much time I might have left, much of it would be wasted if I just gave up on my pursuit of such notoriety. Maybe I can get there as a writer…
Second, and a lot more important is that this perspective is important because it cultivates presence, mindfulness, and the love and kindness each of us has the opportunity to multiply in every human and living connection we make each day. These are the moments that matter. The only moments that matter. If you’ve lost someone close, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And in light of everything happening right now, it’s important to be prepared and then to take this thing on one day at a time.
Because when you’re gone, and all you have left is some random photograph, a one-liner about your life, and the age you achieved at your death, there will still be many many people left behind you that you somehow inspired in a way that will remain meaningful and important to them until their own deaths and maybe even beyond.
Take note of that idea today if you would, and see what you might be able to do to put your own life and the connections you foster each day into a more meaningful and inspiring perspective. Someday, you and those you love will be glad you did.
PS Here’s a quote I found this morning during my dive into the abyss of knowledge and wisdom, for which there is no clear end anywhere in sight…something that will remind you how every interaction and human connection in your life counts. Every single one.
“The affect of un-calculated kindness is as deep as the universe. When you feel stuck, stymied, depressed or full of self-loathing, try and remember this universal truth. It might just set you and its recipient free…” –John C Ashworth
I wrote an entire post on this topic that will be published on April 18th, 2020. If we’re not there yet, be sure to subscribe for regular updates so that you don’t miss it. -John