If I have learned anything in life I have learned to learn. The value in learning from my own mistakes, my own living, and my own experiences has proven to be priceless. Yet the other side of that coin is everyone else. I find it so valuable to learn from others with the mindset that not only can I learn from the brightest minds out there, but I can also gain so much knowledge from the normal or even weaker links in the chain. There is learning all around each and every one of us even in the simplest forms of our lives. For example, you can learn so much from others as you sit back and watch children as they navigate in today’s social settings, as you become part of an adult group working to solve a family emergency, as you witness a person in action as they are forced to be the solution to a human involved accident, or as you work closely with a spouse or coworker to reach a preset goal. There are daily situations where you can not only become more in tune with yourself as you act and stay committed to your own personal outcomes but you can also obtain a great amount of data from those all around you. Life is so full of education and the world is our classroom. I don’t know if anyone else has said those exact words before but I take ownership moving forward.
I know that in everyday life we are subjected to so many different circumstances and to so many people, but so much time and energy is lost in not only playing defense in life but also in being so busy and overwhelmed just trying to survive and placing so much stock in getting to the next task, the next level, or the next bridge, circumstance, fire, desire, failure, mistake, accomplishment, relationship, or just the damn grocery store. With the way the world is how can we possibly slow down enough to learn more?
Over the past few years we lost so many people and yes, COVID was a part of that but there were many other causes to include old age, poor health, disease, accidents, and just natural causes. We have had the front seat to about 8 friends or family who we were close enough to, to allow us the blessing to have spent personal time with them during their last days. This in itself is an experience that can affect you in many ways. At first the significance may elude us, but the lessons and the things we can learn from one who knows the race is done is beyond value. I look back and feel it is so important to analyze, learn, and review each and every situation for possibly selfish motives but also for very important reasons such as to learn what it will be like, how does one cope, what is of importance at the end, how do those who are close deal with it, what transitions are going through the mind, and the list goes on. Just as it is in life I feel there is much to learn from death.
Granted as most know I am a work in progress as a Christian and really don’t have much fear in dying and personally feel this is the majority of the battle. To know that at my death the journey is set gives me such a feeling of warmth, love, and freedom from worry. With that said and what I have personally found to be very amazing while spending time with those at the end of their earthly journey is that there is a common subject associated with each and every person, and with most of those close to those dying. Every person that I have spent time with in their final weeks and days all expressed the same concern. They have lived their life. They have worked, played, struggled, and loved with the cards they were dealt, but every one of them expressed that they wished they had spent more time or had more time to spend on relationships. Not one person stated that they needed to make more money, or wished they had bought a larger house, or that they had worked harder or even worked more hours. Not one person said to me that they wished they had voted Republican or Democrat instead or had played sports or even watched sports, not one person expressed the need to have more cars or even bigger faster cars for that matter, but each and every one of those dying expressed and usually more than once, that they wished they had spent more time with friends, enemies, children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, coworkers, aunts, uncles, nephews, and even people they didn’t know. I had one person even tell me they just wanted to meet more people. Wow, if that doesn’t hit home.
I know for me personally this does hit home. Each of our family or friends who recently died struck a cord in me knowing that I too wished there was more time for a longer, better relationship with each and every one of them. We live in a world where we strive at doing life with little or no possible personal connection. It’s easier to text or to send an email and nowadays if someone knocks at my front door first thing I think is “Who’s bothering me,” or “Is it the police or someone I owe money to?” Now we are trending to a level of not even having to report to a work place so as to limit the chance of contaminating one another with COVID. We know we can shop and buy anything without ever leaving our couch at home. We can buy a car, groceries, prescriptions, clothing, toilet paper, and even a house without leaving home. I even saw a tank for sale the other day that could be delivered directly to you.
We can learn so much in life but I feel the caviar of life is taught in death. I will chose to eat and share life closer and more often with others as I love to learn from each and every one of them.