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I am really conscious as I write this blog today, I speaking very much to myself, for you see I am the cautious type, and given how the world is these days, only seems to accentuate this cautiousness. I look at those that climb mountains, abseil down them, those who fly around in one of those ‘bird looking’ suits, or those that ‘crack the pipe’ out in the surf. The world is full of inspirational people doing mind-blowing and breath-taking things, and at times I will nearly pluck up the courage to give it a try, only to have my cautiousness ‘bring me back to earth.’ But for me, I suppose, ‘breath-taking’ can come in other ways, and I will get to this a little later in this blog.
A little while back I attended the funeral of a someone in the early 40s, whose family experienced one of those ‘died all of a sudden moments’ ; you know the ones that happen without warning, and really start getting us wondering about life which can be so fragile. It is times like this we start to grieve over the moments now lost forever, not watching the children grow up, and growing old together. This was certainly my thinking as I drove to the funeral.
But what I heard was something completely different. I heard about a man who valued friendship; every interaction mattered. I heard about incredible family holidays, the annual pilgrimage to the Bathurst Motor Race, his love of tinkering in the shed with his son, the valued work colleague. There was no “we will get to this one day” but more “let’s make the most of the days we have”, for, as it turned out, would not be as long as you would have expected. You see for his family, they had lived life to the full, and the common reflection was, although he was taken far too soon, that life had been rich. It was a life full of memories and experiences, and I was taken with just how rich life was gong to be going forward in life. I am sure there will be grief; it is critical to our well being, but it is based on how wonderful life was while he was alive and his life-giving legacy. No regrets!
Kind of got me thinking about my own attitude to life. I am sure for me and my family, maybe there is not this legacy. His story was an inspiration, and my only hope is, I can make changes in myself, not to emulate his life, but to find the ‘life-giving’ bit in my own. Sure he may not have done the daredevil thing, but in all he did, he longed for quality connections with the people he met.
Maybe there us hope for us ‘non-thrill seekers yet.’ I probably won’t do rock climbing or bungey jump, but can I seek quality connections in all of my human relationships? The desire is certainly there, but I am not seeing too many people, in this social media world, who truly value face to face connection. All I can do is to uphold my end of he connection and see where it flies; and maybe people may be encouraged to also value such connection. I reckon, deep down, this is truly what we are all looking for.
I am fortunate, each Monday Morning to be involved with a group of people, all living in their own, who come back each week for connection. This is a group, that is pre social media; mobile phones are for verbal communication only. It would seem for a couple of hours the world seems to stop, and all of the depression, anxiety, loneliness and physical ailments, that are part of the group are forgotten. I have been blessed to see the trans-formative power of true and honest face to face connection. Breath-taking!!
I am thinking the 53 year who died, is almost looking down on the group, and resonating his own approach to life to what he is seeing. You see for this group, although life has been hard, maybe they are getting a glimpse of how life can be better. Even though there may be regrets in the past, does not mean there cannot be a point in time where there are ‘no regrets’ going forward. As I consider this incredible example of human connection, may it be a springboard for me to draw a line in the sand and say ‘no regrets’ going forward. The invitation is there for all of us.
This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.