I’m not saying I want to be a martyr – just the opposite in fact. I’d like like a long, happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Dying is the last thing I’d like to do – literally!
We all have something to live for. The challenge, as in all things, is in finding balance, balance between my desire for a full life where I wouldn’t mind dying, and not holding on too tightly when it’s time to go because I feel like I haven’t lived.
We can live for causes, live for our kids, live for pleasure, or a noble calling, to cure cancer or wipe out AIDS. We can live for the next adrenaline rush, or to give up our lives for others, to feed the hungry, to visit the orphans, to be admired or loved, to build wealth or achieve success however you define it.
Each of us live our lives for something. And sometimes those things require us to give up our very lives.
We can care for a sick relative, stand up for injustice, take a bullet meant for a friend, get beat up protecting those that can’t protect themselves, give away our wealth, donate a kidney, give up our bone marrow, sacrifice our life for our child, rush into a burning building to save a stranger, throw ourself onto a hand-grenade to save our fellow soldiers.
We all live for something. And we’re all going to die. What we do in this life is measured against eternity. Even if you don’t believe in heaven or something after this life, you can’t deny we all affect those around us. We leave a lasting impression after we’re gone, like closing your eyes after looking at a bright light. Something remains.
I’ve made sacrifices, and I’ve given. I’ve been selfish, and I’ve taken. I’ve reached behind to help while reaching forward to be helped by those ahead.
I hope that when my time is done I’ve left an impression on those around me, that they will see a little of the light I’ve left behind, and that I can finish saying, my life was well-lived, the best way I knew how.