Live in the Moment...
Plan for the Future

In my twilight years, I have discovered the advantage of living in the moment. Part of that insight was the direct result of successfully dancing with death a couple of times. While I am delighted that I am not fertilizing daffodils, I realize more intently than those that haven’t done the dance.

If you haven’t been on the dance floor with death, allow me to share with you what I learned after having a traumatic brain injury and prostate cancer that had metastasized outside the prostate. While I wouldn’t wish to go through either dance again, I would not delete either dance from my dance card. I also realize that sometime in the future that I won’t be able to lead death as we danced in the past. Sooner or later, my dance card will not be used again.

While that seems like I am fixated on my morbidity, I’m is not. I grasp the reality that I am not immortal. Therefore, in the time that I can lead death as we dance, I need to enjoy those moments as I dance into my future. Trust me. If you are young and full of life, great. However, carpe diem....

There are three additional items about which I am keenly aware. Randy Pausch, who danced with pancreatic cancer, said, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” We can’t wish that we are richer or more good-looking than we are. Look honestly at the hand that you have. Accept that reality. We don’t control the cards we hold, but we can control the manner in which we play our cards. The choice is a simple either/or decision. We can pout about how unfair we feel life might be, or we can make the most of our cards.

Dealing with the cards creatively causes us to make all are important decisions in life, which is the second item. Be careful about what cards your play in your lives. Here, again, it is an either/or decision for us. One choice is to do like Silas Marner or Ebenezer Scrooge did. They both spent much of their lives driven to amass great wealth...for themselves. Their drives to make money were successful at one level. They both were rich in material things but poor as a church mouse when it came to important items in either of their lives.

George Eliot wrote Silas Marner in which Silas Marner, who was a weaver of Raveloe, was successful in his drive getting rich in things. However, he was living in abject emotional poverty until Eppie entered his life. Without Eppie, Marner was on a road going nowhere; it was a dead-end.

Silas and Eppie

Exactly, a century after George Eliot wrote Silas Marner, I stood in front of my 12th grade English teacher and recited Silas’ conversion.

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

Finally, the final item deals with becoming like the new Silas Marner or Ebenezer Scrooge. Reach out to someone and help that person. People get locked into negativity all too quickly when it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true with the very young. Show the young and old that you love and accept them. Interestingly, it will change their lives. Even more to the point, it will change your life for the better. However, don’t wait. Act. Live in the moment for yourself and for others.

Live in the moment....

On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.

Darkest Before Dawn

Darkest Before Dawn

Visit the Darkest Before Dawn page to read more about this topic.

The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

Visit the The Last Lecture page to read more about this topic.

Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

Visit the Dancing with Death page to read more about this topic.

The Hand May Be a Little Child's

"The Hand May Be a Little Child's"

Visit the "The Hand MayBe a Little Child's" page to read more about this topic.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.