I attended the burial of the mum of a friend. At the young age of 55, she had passed away. It was an event with mixed feelings, she had lived a great life, had children and grand children, but she was still gone too soon.
Yesterday night was the wake keeping, friends and family gather together, sang songs and talked about the life she lived. Amidst all the tears, talks and sober hymns, one question was consistent in my mind -What counts??
I listened to the testimonies of the people who could brave to speak, with watery eyes and shaky voices. One by one they recounted the parts of her life that touched theirs. I listened to hear if I’ll hear people speak about the things we daily chase – How many houses, cars, food, shelter, material possession, shares (all good things don’t get me wrong), but nobody spoke of these things. Everybody that spoke talked about the many ways in which she added value, in which her life touched theirs, in which they are forever better for associating with her. They spoke about how her life touched theirs. That was all that counted.
Hmmm… The people we leave behind in death will remember us, not for what we have, but what we gave. Not for what we owned but for what we shared. I took a quick inventory of my life and asked myself, what am I doing today that counts? I also remembered that even in the place we go after death, we will give account, not of what we were given, but what we used that which we had to do? Who did we touch, what value did we add, what change did we effect.
Ask yourself today and do something about it. Don’t just count your days, make them count. Life is not in duration, it’s in donation. When we close our eyes never to open them into this world, the things that will matter most to all we live behind (and all we go to meet) is d quality of our relationships, d generosity of our giving, d life that we shared.