Before You Die.
While the title of this essay seems like an interesting logical disconnect, it is ironically true. If that title were told to me 25-years ago, I would not have bought into it. However, at 71-years of age and having danced with death a couple of times, I see the truth of the title. In addition, others have seen the logic of this before me.
Tradition has it that William Wallace, who fought for Scottish independence 700-years ago, said, "All men die, but not all men really live."
Wallace addressed his comment to his fellow Scots about independence from England. To be free and independent is really to be alive. Death is a known reality. However, it is an open question whether a person is really alive, which for Wallace meant being free of colonial rule by England. Interestingly, on September 18, 2014, Scotland will be voting for independence from the UK and Westminster, which will be the 700th anniversary of acquiring freedom the first time from England.
Howard Thurman in the 20th century said essentially the same thing. "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Interestingly, Thurman was a civil rights leader who wanted blacks to be free.
It is interesting that William Wallace, a Scot and Howard Thurman, a black American both wanted to be free to live without someone else lording over them whether they were English or whites. There is a direct connection between those who feel oppression and their desire to live.
Now, many reading this article are neither a Scot nor a black. Nonetheless, in some manner, we have all felt some oppression or enslavement to some higher authority. Thurman suggestion is to all people to think about what would make you come alive and pursue it. Then he adds a postscript, "Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Here is my suggestion. Figure out you really want in life that turns you on and "makes you come alive." Here is my list of things that have made me come alive.
Therefore, make a short list of things that have enlivened your life or that you wish could. Then devote the time that you have in achieving the items on the list. Rather than majoring in the minor of life, work on coming alive. The benefit will be two-fold. You will come alive, which is a great benefit. However, so will those in the world with whom you have contact.
I challenge you to remember what William Wallace said, "All men die, but not all men really live." In addition, do not forget what Howard Thurman said, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Ukraine page to read more about this topic.
Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.
Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.