Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What If Today Was Your Last Day?

If today was your last day...
Would you make your mark
By mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late
To shoot for the stars,
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
'cause you can't rewind
A moment in this life
Let nothin' stand in your way
'cause the hands of time
Are never on your side

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late,
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?

The lyrics above are from a song called “If Today Was Your Last Day” by Nickelback. What powerful questions are asked in this song! I ask you, what if you woke up and found out that today was your last day. Would you do anything different today? What if you had two days… would you live the first day in a way so that you wouldn’t have regrets on your last day?

It’s easy to procrastinate. To put off the hard stuff. To fool ourselves into thinking that “one day” we’ll make up for, make right, or make better. At the fear of sounding like an alarmist or extremist…what we should realize is that life is not in our control, and our “one day” MAY be today. What would I do today if today were really my last day alive?

What if today were not my last? Would I just coast through the day? Would I even try to make a difference today? Would I give my best to the people who mean the most? I’ve often wondered if it would be worse to live a long time and look back on the past and have regrets of things left undone, relationships not mended, goals not met, or chances not taken.

Life is unpredictable. Think of the stories you have heard where someone was thrown a curveball and had to face a shortened life or an excruciating journey. 

Randy Pausch, famous for his “Last Lecture,” is an example of someone who made the most of the time he had in his shortened life. I wonder if he had any regrets as he reflected on his days on Earth.

Don Meyer, the recipient of the Jimmy V award at the ESPYs a few years ago, is a survivor. 

What we learn from situations like these is that there is a common thread among all of them: the truly important “things” in life are not “things” at all, but are about relationships with others – assistance, forgiveness, memories, honesty, and above all else, love.

As a mother, I ask myself, “If I died today, what would my daughters remember most about me?” put another way, “What will my daughters FEEL when they think of me after I’m gone?” 

As an educator, I ask myself these same questions. "If I died today, what would my students remember most about me?" and "What will my students FEEL when they think of me after I'm gone?"

For all, I hope that I live my life every day in a way so that when those questions are answered, they remember that I LOVED them. I hope they feel a warm, comforting, safe, and proud feeling.

What do you hope that others will remember about you?

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