This is the true foundation of a life well lived. It has nothing to do with what we get or what we may be given. The measure of a good life is about demonstrating love in all we do. It’s about how we have served those around us and what we have given to those most in need.
A friend (who happens to be an accomplished artist) posted this on Facebook. Having been a writer and photographer all my adult life, i can attest to the fact that Vonnegut is spot on. The act of creating is powerful. Creating art does far more than make life bearable. It provides a joy that is soul deep.
These moving words by Dr. King are timely as we approach a time of massive transition and change in our country. We are called to love one another and to seek justice for all. We cannot allow fear of any measure to keep us from speaking the truth and acting on behalf of those who need our help.
As people of faith we need to be a beacon of hope to all those around us that are being told and being shown that many in our society do not value them, and even hate them. We are also called to love those so fearful that they allow their anger and hatred to lead them to verbal abuse and violence against others.
Jesus calls us to be agents of reconciliation. That means we must care enough to get in the middle and show a more excellent way. We must have the courage to act. We have to demonstrate that peace is possible. The answer isn’t fear, but love.
My father was 85 when he was killed on a Texas highway. Another car plowed into his from behind. The other car was driven by a nurse late to work and heavily medicated. She survived with minor injuries.
My father was working at the time of his death. That’s not surprising to me. He grew up in a poor single parent family during the depression. He and his siblings knew hunger. For my father, to be a man meant you worked. And so he worked. He worked until the day he day he died.
Good meaningful work is a key part of our humanity. But, there’s far more to life than being busy. Work is not the end all and the be all of our existence.
Now, at almost 70 I am taking Thoreau’s admonition to heart I have come to realize that going into the woods is vital if I am to live deeply and suck the marrow of life. The more time I spend immersed in nature, the more alive I feel.
Take time to live before you die. As someone recently told me, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.” We only get one chance.