My friend used to tell me from his learning that no one on their death bed regrets not working more, instead what they regret is not spending more time with their loved ones (family and friends).
Think about it, could you imagine someone hooked up to IVs and palliative medicines saying, “Listen to me, one thing I’ve learned in this life is that work is it!”
Sure we should work hard and do a good job, but usually, it’s the other way around, where people endlessly chase material things, wealth, power, and prestige…they work days, nights, weekends…and almost to hell with everyone and everything else.
Hey they say, with this beautiful excuse, “I’ve got to make a [good] living!”
So the people we love and should be caring about suffer, needlessly.
So of course, it goes without saying that we regret the mistakes we made, the opportunities to do good that we missed, and the hurt we caused others.
I have some colleagues though that I really admire…who work hard and do a damn good job–they are some of my best people, yet the funny thing is they put family first!
How can that be you say?
I don’t know for sure, but perhaps because they know their real purpose in life, and live with balance (work-life, materialism-spiritualism, etc.) and true caring for others, they are able to be more sensible and balanced in getting their jobs done.
Honestly, these are the people that are able to get things done–presumably at home and with community–but I see it with my own eyes, at work.
My older daughter the other day sent me an article about people sick (with cancer etc.) and dying and how they look back at life and one thing they wish is that they had appreciated their bodies more.
I guess now that their bodies are sort of degrading with illness and age, they appreciate what they should’ve appreciated, but likely didn’t before, their physical health.
Some of them said things like they wished they had exercised more, enjoyed sex more, spent time outside enjoying the beauty of the world more, and so on.
I’ve been thinking about this, about my body and my physical senses and what they mean to me.
What is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, the sweetest smell, the best voice or music I’ve ever heard, the most luscious taste, or the softest thing I’ve touched.
It really is amazing the senses that G-d gave us and the beauty all around us that cradles us in this world.
We need to savor the great creation that G-d has bestowed on us and take care of those we love around us.
Maybe that’s why we fight for life, until we can’t any longer. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)