Michael’s June Message
There is so much going on these days in our nation and on the planet. Wars in Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, North Korea, presidential politics, racism, health care and the lack thereof, etc. This list is by no means exhaustive and certainly does not include our own individual challenges as human beings on planet Earth. All of this can appear to be so overwhelming at times, especially for those who believe they have to solve every problem that presents itself. There is an old saying that one does not have to attend every fight one is invited to. Yet we can pick our battles and do the best we can. That is all we can do and that is enough. Pick a cause that you can engage in that is doable and then do your best.
“I am only one but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” (Edward Everett Hale)
If your life were to end today, how would your obituary read? Now don’t get frightened! Thinking about your obituary will not kill you. It is actually a way to start living, to begin to become fully conscious of the moments you are alive. Every moment of your life writes a line for your obituary, every action and inaction provides memories for you to those who you will leave behind. They are memories that the people you love and leave behind will want to include in the telling of your life story. So you see, you are the author of your own obituary! Are you writing a tale of misery or tenacity? Were you up or uppity? Were you inclusive and supportive? Or were you exclusively out for yourself? Did you lift others up or did you allow them to knock you down? When you went down did you stay down or did you land on your back (because if you can look up you can get up). Did you stay down, complaining and whining?
What will you obituary say about the way you treated people and how you made them feel about themselves? Maya Angelou reminds us that folks may forget what we said to them; they may even forget what we did to them; but they will never forget the way we made them feel. What will you obituary say about the way you treated yourself? What will it say about your attitude? How well did you handle yourself in a crisis? It’s true that people can lie. They can say things to make you look good to all those who didn’t know you. But they will know and you know the truth. Perhaps now it is time to consider how you are living and what you want to be said about you when you are not here.
Until today, you may not have realized that your life provides the content of your obituary. Just for today, examine your life. Think about all the things you want to leave behind. Remember, the good thing about doing this today is that you still have time to rewrite your life’s content, if necessary. You are not called on to save the world. You are called on to change your mind about the world. Dr. Howard Thurman reminds us that the time and place of a person’s life is the time and place of his or her body. But the significance of that life, is powerful and important as a person wills it to be.
Be well. Strive to be happy.
Michael J. Carter