Life is fragile and beautiful. Nothing is permanent. We cannot take anything for granted. Whether we are ready for it or not, each of us eventually will die. There will be no more sunrises, no more minutes, hours or days. All the things we’ve collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Our wealth, fame and power will become irrelevant.
It will not matter what we owned or owed. Our jealousies, frustrations, resentments and grudges will disappear, along with our hopes, ambitions and plans. All our thoughts and desires will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where we came from or what side of the tracks we lived on at the end, even our gender and skin colour will become irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of our days be measured?
What will matter is not what we bought but what we built, not what we learned but what we taught, not what we got but what we gave. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate our example. What will matter is not our bank accounts but our character, not who we knew, but who will feel a lasting loss when we are gone, not our memories, but the memories that live on in those that loved us. What will matter is how long we will be remembered, for what and by whom.
A life significantly lived is not one of circumstance but of choice. We must choose wisely and we must choose well. Because our lives can only be great if our minds are open and our hearts are good, and if we continue to make conscious choices.