( Contributed by Domenic)
Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success?
It’s easy, in effect, to miss the real point of our lives even as we’re living them. Until we’re no longer alive. A eulogy is often the first formal marking down of what our lives were about—the foundational document of our legacy.
Our eulogies are always about the other stuff: what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our family and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
So why do we spend so much of our limited time on this earth focusing on all the things our eulogy will never cover?
“Eulogies aren’t résumés, they describe the person’s care, wisdom, truthfulness and courage. They describe the million little moral judgments that emanate from that inner region.”
– David Brooks
Even for those who die with amazing Wikipedia entries, whose lives were synonymous with accomplishment and achievement, their eulogies focus mostly on what they did when they weren’t achieving and succeeding. They aren’t bound by our current, broken definition of success….
Whether you believe in an afterlife—as I do—or not, by being fully present in your life and in the lives of those you love, you’re not just writing your own eulogy; you’re creating a very real version of your afterlife. It’s an invaluable lesson—one that has much more credence while we have the good fortune of being healthy and having the energy and freedom to create a life of purpose and meaning. The good news is that each and every one of us still has time to live up to the best version of our eulogy.
It is never about being busy and not having time…. It is always about priorities, getting organised and care….
- What if we raised a generation so that they learned to be “conflict literate?”
- What if we students in business, management, law, and even medicine learned how to turn conflict from a liability into an asset?
- What if all of us at diverse faith-based schools taught about other systems of belief?
- What if we created in every community a public space designed for dialogue?
- What if we developed news media that were a laboratory for negotiation and dialogue?
- What if those of us in education learned and applied the tools of the Mediator?
- What if we voters supported political candidates who ran campaigns that strengthened communities rather than dividing them to get the most votes?
- What if we encouraged the U.S. Congress and other national legislatures to have an Office of Facilitation?
Some do not understand
that we must die,
But those who do realize this
settle their quarrels.
~ The Buddha Continue reading
“the keys to longevity are diet, exercise, finding a purpose in life (an ikigai), and forming strong social ties—that is, having a broad circle of friends and good family relations.”