Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Wonder...

Photo taken from Ulf Buschmann Photography

I've been thinking again.

The deep, life pondering type of thinking, much like in All the Little Puzzle Pieces. I am again wondering about things I'll most likely never get to know.

It started with a normal day of People Watching. I People Watch like it's a full time job. When I walk, when I drive, when I'm at the gym. Not in the bad "Look at that outfit!" way, but in the "What makes you tick?" way. Because I really don't care about your hair. It's all because I'm curious. Because I want to know. Because you might have a lesson from life that could make all the difference in the world to someone. Maybe to me.

I grew up with a lot of elderly people around me all the time. Being in a nursing home every day will do that to you. I met so many nice, lonely, lovely people, all that had multitudes of stories to share. The sad part is I was so young I didn't realize how valuable those stories were back then and I remember very little of my conversations. I do remember one lady and her parrot, but that's because she had a parrot, and parrots are awesome, especially to a 5 year old.

Now though, when I see someone older I sit back and I wonder...

Are you happy? Lonely? Scared?

Are you counting down the days to death's doorway or are you embracing every moment, every breath of life left in you?

Did you lead the life you wanted? Was it happy, fulfilling, everything you dreamed of? Did the weight of the worlds worries hold you down or did you wake up each day fighting them back?

Do you have children? Do they visit? Do they love you and care for you and value your ever dwindling precious seconds together? Do they even realize how precious this thing called time is? Do you?

Did you find the love of your life? Your life's purpose? Something to live for each day?

Do you have regrets? Is there one thing you could've-would've-should've done, but didn't? Or did you take that chance and has it made all the difference?

What I really want to know though, is this:

If you were given the opportunity to share the most important thing you've learned from all your time on this earth - with your younger self, with a stranger, with anyone willing to listen and learn - what would it be?

What would it be?

I'm still working on my answer. I assume that it will change as the years pass, but I am curious...

What would your answer be?

Share it with me and I will share it with everyone in an upcoming post. Funny, serious, life changing - you name it.

Your life lessons matter.


Mediocre Renaissance Man said...

I recently shared something with someone in an email that I feel is definitely one of the most important things I've learned. I don't know if it is the most important, but it's way up there.

Never take offense at anything. This was a lesson I learned early in life. Becoming offended is a choice. People cannot make me feel a certain way, they cannot make me react a certain way. Everything that I do is a choice. It was a hard lesson to learn, but my patient and infinitely wise mother taught me.

I don't even remember any of the specifics. It was an important teaching time in my life. I was at a perfect age for the lesson. My brother, Eric, had done something to me that I didn't like. I got angry. I did something mean to him. I almost never hit out of anger, so I don't think I did anything violent, but I did or said something mean. My mother got involved. She asked what happened. I said, "Eric made me mad." And my mother said, "Oh he MADE you mad, huh?" I said, "Yes." She said, "So you let him control you? You're going to let him take control and make you do things?" I realized then that I had chosen to get mad. It was a choice. If I had been a little younger or a little older I wouldn't have had that pride in me that made me extremely upset that I was letting my younger brother control me. I was older than him. I was bigger than him. He can't control me! I got supremely upset at myself for letting him control me like that, and ever since then I have focused on making sure that I don't let anyone have control over my reactions. It is still something I struggle with (especially with my children, since they can be pretty infuriating sometimes), but it's a lesson I'll never forget.

Chantelle Says said...

Thank you for sharing. I think that is a fantastic lesson. So true and so important to learn. Honestly, what a great story! Your mom sounds pretty great as well. Thanks, Brian!