You’ve heard the expression, “Live life to the fullest,” many times before. But I would challenge you to first work on another area of your life. My challenge to you is this -- Be present as you go through life, love harder, care more and notice what is going on around you. Live this life with an acute awareness of how much you can and do affect those around you. Also, have a deeper understanding of how others affect your life as well. It will be much easier for you to live a fuller life if you start by living a more aware life. Live your life on purpose. We are put on earth for a limited period of time. Spend your time giving everything you’ve got. Do not hold back your feelings. Take notice of what is going on around you.
Within the last week or so I was given information about three people that were taken prematurely from this life. While I did not know them well, I knew all three well enough to know that they were good, hard working, honest and genuine people. The first was the spouse of an event planner in the DC area. At 36, while jogging, he had a heart attack and died leaving behind a wife and two young children. I have been told that in his phone he kept a record of names of people he met and the ways in which he could provide assistance or help create a positive influence in their life.
The second person was a high school classmate of mine that built an incredible cleaning business while still in high school and retired very early in life. Since retiring he spent many years donating a generous amount of time and money helping sick children feel better. He built a second “career” as Batman, complete with an exotic Batmobile (a converted Lamborghini), going to hospitals, centers and homes and making dreams come true. One night last week while heading home from western Maryland his Batmobile broke down, and while trying to make a repair was struck and killed along the highway.
The third person I knew a bit more closely. He worked in the events industry, setting up and staffing milestone events like weddings and bar mitzvahs. His sense of humor and his wit were sharp and while he would often “pretend” to be overworked, he loved what he did for a living and thought very highly of others in the industry as well. During the workweek he provided support for recovering addicts and would always be available for a laugh, smile or conversation. A friend, concerned that she had not heard from him in many days alerted authorities and he was found in his apartment. The cause of his death is under investigation.
Three wonderful, giving, extraordinary people that lived amazing lives filled with love, care and blessings. We can all be better at doing more for others, caring more for those around us and being more aware of how we affect others. The people you have in your life right now need to know how much you mean to them. Don’t hold back or fear that you are being too “soft” or emotional. They need to know that you love them, will support them and will be there for them if ever needed.
The alternative is to spend life with your head down, stuck in a cell phone, distracted by an email, pulled away by an urgent phone call or otherwise wanting to be anywhere other than where you are at the present moment. Give yourself permission to laugh a bit louder at joke you just heard, smile just a bit wider at the next person you meet (even if you don’t know them) and leave your cell phone in the car when you are having lunch with a friend or coworker.
You never know how much time you have in this life. Make the most of it, be present and love and care for others with all you’ve got. I can promise you one thing, it will make everyone, including you, feel great.