Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Honor a Life

I've been to three wakes in the last three weeks.  The deceased were not my immediate family or close friends.  They were either distant relatives or some of my best friends' loved ones.  All three carried a similar theme.

Pictures adorned the funeral parlors for each person, illustrating the life a person is capable of living.  Decades of history greeted each mourner.  Wedding pictures, candid snapshots, military pictures, and baby pictures showed us who the person was in life - happy, gleeful, and inevitably giving.

In death, they remind us of how fragile life is and why we cannot take even one moment for granted.

The reality of our mortality is that we must live a giving and purpose-driven life.  We all hope to live a healthy and eternal life.  Unfortunately, until modern science catches up with those wishes, we are stuck with striving for a healthy and prolonged one.  But what do we do with the years between birth and death?  How do we make them truly count?  Our loved ones spent their lives laying bricks that would be the building blocks of future generations.  My grandparents immigrated to America for a chance at success.  They faced hardships few can even imagine today - traveling across the world with infants in tow, learning a new language, prejudices, few social programs to rely on.  For what?  So that my children and I can spend more time in front of the television?  So that we could all work at jobs we don't like?

No.  Life is fleeting, and leaving you every moment.  Even as I sit here writing this, it ticks away in irretrievable seconds.  The seconds are not wasted if they are aimed at a purpose, towards success.  It is success that needs to be defined for every individual.  Whether it be children, financial wealth, fame, critical success, or just being happy.  What do you define as success?

I'm a goal driven person.  I spend the end of each year documenting my goals for the next year and how to achieve them.  This goal driven life is a new phenomenon for me.  I used to flounder in the tide of uncertainty, waiting for someone to steer my ship to whatever course they wanted for me.  It was only in the last few years I grabbed the wheel and began to chart my own course.  My goals for 2012 are not all achieved.  In truth, most of them are not.  Still, I'll put my list together for 2013, including the unaccomplished tasks of 2012.  I try not to get bogged down in failures because I'm aware that they line the steps to success.  I've discovered there are two things required for success - deciding what is important to you and moving past the fear of failure.

I have failed and will continue to do so.  You should too.  It's what our deceased relatives and friends  wanted for us.  They spent a lifetime using their gifts and talents to show the road to success for all of us.  Try and dare greatly.  Fail.  But always push.  Always continue and eventually you will succeed.

It's the way to honor those that went before us.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  Thank you for coming by and reading the blog.  I love being able to provide you a glimpse into the law and the life of an ADA, as well as the posts like this one that deal with neither.  Your continually increasing support pushes me to make this site better every day.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, and also something I've been thinking about in recent weeks. Anyway, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I really want to thank you for your outright honesty and general openness in sharing about your experiences as an ADA on this blog - reading it every day has been fun and everything here is incredibly informative (especially since becoming an ADA is a goal I'm working towards every day!). I really look forward to knowing so much more. Thanks so much again, and have a great Thanksgiving!