It is a very morbid question, I know, and my sincere apologies for scaring you. No, there is nothing wrong with me. I am neither suicidal nor terminally ill. On the contrary.
The question above is one that I posed to people in self-introspection seminars over and over again many years ago, in a past life when I used to be a trainer. The usual sequence of questions was more or less like this:
Imagine you went to the doctor this morning, feeling perfectly fine except for a mild cold or a recurring headache. All you want is a qick visit and the usual prescription, nothing more, nothing less. Except that this morning the visit didn’t quite go the way you expected it. The doctor pulls out the lab results of the blood test from last week and looks straight into your unsuspecting eyes.
You have only two weeks to live.
What do you do?
Most people answer with
* travel around the world
* make amends with someone I had a fight with a long time ago
* pay my debts
* donate to charity
* do something good for the community
* sponsor someone’s education
* help a homeless person to get back on their feet
* use all the best dishes and cutlery for dinner every single day
* do something valuable (and lasting) for the environment
* plant a tree
* swim naked in the ocean
* go on a romantic date with the person your heart desires the most
* have wild, passionate sex with someone you love (some preferred to do so with a total stranger)
* tell someone how much you love them and how they make a difference in your life
* teach your children the values you want them to pass on to the next generation
The list is endless and when I hear these things, my response was always the same:
What are you waiting for then?
Why leave all of this for the last minute?
Live your life as if there is no tomorrow.
(Learn to recognise love when it is staring at you in the face!)
Laugh from the heart, honestly and earnestly.
Do good unto others
Be generous to yourself, your loved ones, and to the people around you – not in a material way, but with the gifts of the soul. Give them the best of you.
Take the time to teach someone, not just solve the problem for them. Remember the biblical lesson: give a man a fish, you feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
Leave a legacy for people to remember you by, and this has nothing to do with the amount of money you have in the bank.
To answer my own question: If it were me coming from the doctor, I wouldn’t panic and rush around to do anything on the list, because I already have done so. My life has been colourful, bountiful, and adventure-filled thus far, and my grandfather´s legacy lives on within me:
Always make a difference wherever you go.
The point is, in spite of all the hardships and difficulties experienced and endured, I achieved something. It doesn’t mean I have always succeeded, but it was the mistakes that empowered me to fight harder, and find inspiration.
No, I am not afraid to die.
I made a covenant with destiny recently : to live an even better life, yes, and savour every moment to make it even more meaningful and memorable, with every additional breath being a blessing.
Is it faith that propels me forward? Perhaps, but not entirely.
Courage? Oh most definitely, but only partially.
What matters most is curiosity. I want to find out what will happen tomorrow, what is around the corner, what my fruits will my efforts bear after a few months. Faith, courage and curiosity are interwoven in my intellect, spirit and soul, and that makes me unafraid to die.
Bring it on baby, let’s live!