Monday, November 3, 2014

If today was your last day.

“If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?”  
Maynard Family/AP Photo
- Nickelback

By now most of us have read, seen, or heard about Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old woman who completed physician assisted suicide in light of a diagnosis of a severe brain tumor.

But this is not about physician assisted suicide nor is it about if she did the right thing. It’s not about death either. This is about life.

When Ms. Maynard heard about her diagnosis she chose to fulfill some of her bucket list items seemingly telling herself that while she still had time left in this world she committed to making it count by enjoying the world and spending time around people with whom she shared love. So too she posted on Facebook shortly before she died, “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers.”

Brittany Maynard chose to live her last days with intention.

In the Talmud it says that an evil person, even in life is called “dead”; and a righteous person, even in death is called “alive”. What’s the difference? How does one join the ranks of the righteous and avoid those of the evil?

The truth is that I don’t know. 

I can tell you this though… Love and beauty have a way of perpetuating themselves ad infinitum. So I would recommend if you want to associate yourself with something that will last long after you leave this world try love and beauty.

What would your life look like if you said, I realize I have a finite amount of time in this world I choose to live that time with intention toward love, beauty, and making my world a better place?

What would look different?

How much time would you spend on the computer or watching TV? How much time would you spend spreading love to your family, friends, and people you don’t even know? How much time would you spend protecting your ego? How much time would you spend looking at the beauty that surrounds you?

I am not for a moment suggesting that we all quit our jobs and start a commune. 

I am, however, suggesting that we increase, just a bit, the level of intention in our daily lives.

One of my favorite music videos is the song where the lyrics above come from, Nickelback's "If today was your last day" Check it out on youtube here.

Yours Truly,

Ari Hoffman MA LPC