Take Nothing For Granted – Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed
I have been a public figure since I was 26 years old. That's more than 33 years. This is perhaps the most private and intimate thing that I've ever written about, publicly.
I write and talk a lot about politics. It's important to point out that this is what I do ... it's not who I am.
Having lost both of my Parents to lung cancer in 1976 (Mother age 54) and 1981 (Father age 65), I have lived my entire life with a sense of urgency; Fully understanding that longevity, or, even tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.
This was a tough lesson to learn at such an early age. But, it has also been a real blessing. What I've tried to do is to live-up to the high ideals that my Parents taught me when I was a young boy. I had no Mother left at age 15. But, I had her incredible example as a kind, decent and helpful person. The kind of person that would give you her last dollar, or, lend her assistance in any way that she could.
This was routinely done, for both friends and strangers alike. During my childhood, multiple people from outside of our immediate family lived with us, in our home, on a regular basis. It was their home, too.
If my parents had an extra room, or, an extra meal, it was always made available to help others.
My Father was a mechanical engineer, a great one. He worked very hard. He worked on some major projects during his impressive career. Philadelphia's Veteran's Stadium and The Claridge Hotel and Casino to name a few.
My Father was also a fabulous finish carpenter and master plumber. There was nothing that he couldn't build or fix, by himself.
In fact, he built an entire home (including a working fireplace) basically by himself. He could do all trades, plumbing, heating, cooling and all fabrication and finish carpentry.
I had my Father for six more impressionable years after my Mother passed away. This was critical in my personal development. My Father knew in 1980 that he was dying. He kept it a secret until he no longer could. He was a World War II hero; a Bronze Star Medal and multiple Purple Heart recipient.
He was a "man's man." He never complained. He never asked for anyone's help. Yet, he always gave so freely of his time and many talents. He was always helping others.
My Father taught me that one person with the truth is a majority. He was a courageous, good and decent man, who never backed down to anyone, yet, he was always a gentleman. He was a lover and a fighter. He preferred the kindness approach. But, he was willing to fight for principles and ideals whenever, where ever necessary.
Another important life lesson that I learned from my Father is that if you want something done right, give it to a busy person. The others have no time, he would say. He was right. My Mother was right. They were always right. About everything.
During the past 3 days, two profound incidents have caused me to reflect deeply upon my own life. The choices that I've made. My philosophy of not holding a grudge, even when wronged. Live every day to the fullest. Because tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us.
I'm so glad that I listened to my Parents.
The first incident was a telephone call that I received from a friend, who is almost certainly nearing the end of their life. It was so profound to listen to what this special person had to say. The whole conversation fit right within my own philosophy regarding what life is really all about.
Life is about taking care of your Family, friends and yes, even strangers. Life is about always trying to do the right thing. Living life to the fullest should be about not caring what others think of you. And, never sweating the small stuff. Which in the end, just doesn't matter a lick.
The second item hit me like a ton of bricks. Rush Limbaugh announced yesterday that he has "advanced lung cancer." He's worth at least $ 600 million dollars. Do you think any of that financial fortune matters now?
Limbaugh is the greatest talk radio host in American history. He has had such a profound impact regarding America's society evolution over the past more than 30 years.
I'm writing this today to implore you to make every day count. Be kind. Help others. Volunteer. Contribute in your community. Start something that's bigger than yourself.
Don't live fatalistically, yet, I'm urging you to live with sense of urgency. Don't mark time. Make a difference.
If you're currently in a stupid feud with someone that you care about. End it now. If you received word that you were facing your own mortality, how many right versus wrong things are you doing at this time.
It's time to count our blessings. Let go of baggage and other negative energy that does nothing except weigh you down.
I'm not trying to preach. Whether we realize it or not, we all have so much to be thankful for. Self-reflection is a good thing.
Making just a few adjustments could change your life.
Thank you for taking the time to read part of my mission statement of life.