Friday, October 31, 2014

D.J.: AT LEAST ONE LIFE LESSON

As many of you know, I teach at a University.  It happened that I had class before DJ's services.  Without Using his name, here is what I said to my class about a life lesson from him:

"I want to share with you what I am doing after class.  You'll forgive me if this is too autobiographical.

I'm attending the funeral of a young friend, not much older than you.  As I reflect on him, I believe it gives me a message for you. There are 20 of you here.  I'm probably talking to five of you-and I don't know which five--but if one of you takes seriously what I'm going to tell you, it will have been worth the time.

You are cruising.  You will "get serious" when you hit your 30's or 40's and pursue your excellence. That's your plan.   Right now, you are having fun and getting by.  You'll "fix it" later.

This young man did it all right.  He was a diligent student, he was a good athlete, a committed partner, then husband. He was a serious professional.  For too short a time, he was a dedicated parent.  

He had fun in his life but he met his responsibilties.  He made the most of a life that barely got into the 30's.

I am sure he died regretting that he would not see his children grow up and have the family contacts we all cherish.  But his regrets will have been about future things lost.  He did not die regretting anything he had failed to do in the past.   He did not die feeling like he had wasted any portion of his life, because he did what was called for, for him, for his family and for his profession, when it was called for.

I hope you all live long and healthy lives.  Still, whenever your time comes, I want you to able to look back at what you're doing now, and next semester and next decade and, like my friend, not regret the effort you didn't put out or the friendship you didn't extend in your own past."

....And then we turned to chapter 23.

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