This past while I have been in a bit of a somber mood. Reflecting back on my life, just on life in general. I think that most if not all, as they realize they are nearing the end of their days may do this. All to often I think regrets come to the surface. There is the very obvious regret that you are nearing the end of your days. For most I don’t think age is a factor at all. No matter how old you are, when you reach this point it is too soon, we want more time. Memories seem to surface out of no where causing regrets. thoughts of things said or unsaid, done or not done.
I think that is eased at least a little if we can look back and appreciate we have had a good life, a successful life. As we went through our lives day by day, there may have even been a lot of turmoil, problems and issues of ever sort. Now with our 20/20 hind sight, we can look back and see the moments that at the time seemed so devistating were in fact just minor bumps in the road of life, really not even worth a second thought.
When you reach this point, if you are pondering the “success” of your life. All thoughts turn to the person, the human being you were while here. Financial success, career success all of that suddenly mean nothing. We look at ourselves as how successful were we as a human being.
On a previous post a dear blogging friend Cat left her thoughts on this: “When I die, I only hope it matters that I lived.” That’s how I measure my own success — if I’ve left the world a little better than I found it, if I’ve helped people and animals in need to the best of my ability, then I’ve been successful.”
Cat I appreciate that thought, it really says it all. To know I mattered, my time here mattered because I left the world a little bit better than I found it. The world is a little bit better because I was here. Now to some that may sound like a pretty lofty of even egotistical idea, the “WORLD” is better because I was here. I mean geesh, come on what can little old me do that could change the world.
Many seem to have the idea in their heads that to change the world would mean something like discovering the cure of cancer or bringing about world peace. No, for sure those would be wonderful accomplishments. Let’s face it, for most of us such things are beyond our reach. I ask this though, does it have to mean if I can’t do something huge I shouldn’t bother doing anything. There are a gazillion things we can do daily, think about it. Recycle one bottle, pick up one piece of trash, donate a little time to helping a friend or a charity….. that list is endless. i know many will think, yeah, why bother. Something that small would never make a difference. That is where you are wrong, every little bit helps, every little bit is a step maybe just a baby step but a step in the right direction.
This brings to mind the star fish story which I know I have posted before:
A woman was walking along a beach when she saw a man scooping up starfish off the sand and tossing them into the waves. Curious, she asked him what he was doing. He replied “When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded on the beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back in, so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live.”
The woman laughed, “But this beach is miles long and there are hundreds of stranded starfish, most will die before you reach them – do you really think throwing back a few starfish is going to make a difference?”
The man picked up a starfish and looked at it and threw it into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one” he said.