The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)
The days say nothing. Have you noticed how quickly your days pass than they did years ago?
Days, months and years passing quicker is a common perception of people as they get older. These packets of time seem to speed up with each passing decade. Then they are gone, having said nothing.
Oh, we have memories. Maybe pictures. But the pictures serve to mark the passage of time as much as they do to arouse memories.
Not everyone laments the passage of time. Not everyone lets their days pass silently, taking with them the gifts each brought and offered with so little fanfare. Those who made the most of their days look back at them not with regret but with pride.
More importantly, those who look back at days past with pride dwell only lightly on their past because they look forward to their future with vigour. Their future looks exciting because they have built their past up to it with activity that caused them to grow. To them, the future is something to look forward to with anticipation, each day an adventure to be launched with the rising sun.
If this seems poetic to you, consider how productive your past has been, how worthy of your time your investments in the components of your life. If you fear the passage of time in your life, maybe you need to build more into your future.
That doesn’t mean more excitement, more daring, more places to visit, more travel, more stuff, more of the things that wear away at your time on earth. It means building something of value to show that you were here. To show others, when you’re gone, that you’re worth remembering.
To leave that kind of legacy, you need to do things that matter to other people, not just to yourself. If everything you do is for your own benefit, no one will have any reason to remember you after you are gone. If what you do involves and helps others, no matter how small each effort may be, then you will leave a lasting memory.
When you leave this earth, you will not be here to promote yourself. Only the others who are left can do that. If you want to be remembered fondly and with respect, you must act in ways that will benefit those who will succeed you on this planet.
OK, so maybe you’re busy now, reading stuff on the internet. But you can begin tomorrow.
Tomorrow–your whole future–should be looked upon with a little apprehension. If you don’t stretch yourself beyond what you feel comfortable with, you can never grow. If you don’t grow, you will retreat with age. The longer you retreat, you more your spirit as well as your body will atrophy.
Rejoice in the bit of fear that the future holds because only by conquering that fear will you grow to become more than you are today. As you overcome that fear, you become greater than you are. And by helping others who will have greater capacity to do more that is worth remembering.
There is little point in eternal life if you didn’t make much use of the one you had here. Eternal boredom offers little to look forward to.
Launch your future when the sun launches itself tomorrow morning. The sun will keep going in circles. You don’t have to. You have a future to build. You have to build toward eternity.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, striving to help people build a better future rather than letting the present decay with age.
Learn more at http://billallin.com