Here’s a good quote from Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc:
‘No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new’.
As far as I’m concerned the old have just as much right to be here as anybody else, but on 5th October 2011 Mr Jobs took that final journey himself at the relatively young age of 56, due to complications from pancreatic cancer. He certainly left his mark on the world, and I hope that before he died he felt he had achieved all he wanted to.
None of us know when the Grim Reaper will strike. Life is short, and the older you get the more you realise just how short it is. Just recently my son’s friend died at the age of 20 in a road traffic accident, but then again there are others like my great-grandmother, who lived to the ripe old age of 103.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we must make the most of our lives while we are here on this earth. There is a particular guy I know, I’ll call him Peter, who was adopted at birth, and was allowed to cop out of going to school if he didn’t want to go. Subsequently he hardly ever went to school, and has never been able to mix or socialise. He has never worked or left home, and has never had a girlfriend or even a male friend. He is 50 years of age. His 88 year old foster mother still runs around looking after him.
Peter no doubt gives his widowed foster mother a reason for living, but what of Peter? He has lived for 50 years and has hardly ever ventured out of the front door. When he does, he looks decidedly uneasy. Compare Peter to the rock stars or indeed Mr Jobs, who have seen it all, done it all, and got their faces on the front of tee shirts. Isn’t it amazing how some people work hard to get the breaks in life to drive them onwards and upwards, and others just sit back and let life pass them by?
When we are young we never think about death, as we are sure we are going to live forever. Certainly in our teens and twenties we are invincible, and are convinced that nothing bad is ever going to affect us. It’s not until we get into our fifties and beyond that we start thinking about our own mortality and whether we have accomplished all that we set out to do.
I set out to be a writer at the age of 11. ‘Life’ in the form of work, marriage and motherhood got in the way for the next 40 years or so, and it was only in my early fifties that I found the time to actually sit down and write something. I’m living my dream at last. I can only hope that if Peter is not content with his life, that he wakes up in time and finds some fulfilment before it’s too late.
How far are you down that road of accomplishing all you set out to do? Still miles to go?