The Lives We Lead: A Moment With Bill Reflection
That quote is so profound that I wish I had said it first.
I have never feared change. I know some people do but truthfully, I have always embraced change as though it were a new lover, warm and sensuous, arousing me with possibilities I have yet to experience. True, that new lover may eventually break my heart, but always there is an overriding sense of adventure and mystery that accompanies change for me.
As I reflect upon change I realize that many times I am left with a feeling of sadness, and perhaps the aforementioned quote explains that feeling of sadness perfectly. When change occurs, a portion of my old existence is left behind, so there really is a sense of mourning as well as arousal, the two-headed creature of opposing perspectives.
I look back on my sixty-four years and I see decades of mourning and arousal, mourning and more arousal, for life is truly a never-ending cornucopia of change. From the small, insignificant changes to the blow-your-socks off changes, we are an ongoing metamorphosis.
An old mentor of mine once told me that life is a classroom and we are the students. There is no grading system in this classroom. There is only pass and fail.
But how do we pass, or how do we fail, I asked him?
Run For The Roses
ONE CHANCE MADE UP OF THOUSANDS OF CHANCES
For some reason I am reminded of a song by Dan Fogelberg called “Run For The Roses.” In it he says this is the “chance of a lifetime in a lifetime of chance.” God I love that line! Does that sum up life or what?
Every single day we are presented with new opportunities. Every single day we make choices and decisions that affect our lives and the lives of others. Think about that for a moment. There are no random, isolated decisions. Each decision carries with it ramifications and as such it is important and yet, despite the importance of our choices and decisions, we treat many of them as though they don’t matter. We slide through life on cruise control, weaving and bumping, stopping and starting, and never realize the impact we could have if we focused on the bigger picture.
What will your legacy be after you are dead and buried? To borrow from George Washington Carver, what are the legitimate reasons for you having passed through life?
Perhaps it is because I am adopted. Perhaps it is because my birth mother could have said “to hell with it” and gotten an abortion, but instead chose to give me life. Perhaps it is because I almost died six years ago, and perhaps it is the culmination of all those things and more, but I have an incredible appreciation for life. My senses are finely attuned to the breathing of this world, and I savor every single opportunity I get to make a difference and leave a legacy that I can be proud of.
I do not float through life. I have done that and I refuse to waste anymore time. I love manual transmissions in cars. I love to change gears and hear the engine purring. I love to downshift and then work my way through the gears and release all the horses and feel their hooves pounding and the vibrations flowing through my body.
I know some people who would rather see their horses at the Petting Zoo and affectionately pat them on the head. Not me! I want to be on that magnificent beast and I want to whisper in his ear “GALLOP” and let’s find out if today is the day….if this hour is the hour….when I will make my mark on this life.
HOW DO WE PASS AND HOW DO WE FAIL?
Do you know the answer to that question yet?
Have you led a good life? Have you left a mark that shines with humanness or a mark that has the dull sheen of apathy? Have you accumulated riches and possessions at the cost of others, or are you rich without a penny to your name but respected by all who know you?
Have you exhibited compassion and empathy during your lifetime, illuminating the stage of your life, or have you chosen selfishness and stayed in the shadows where gray is bright and black is the norm within your heart?
Have you given love freely or hoarded over it, hoping it will gain value while tucking it safely away and never releasing it? How foolish that would be, for although your love is a precious thing, it only gains value if it is available to others.
Do you have any idea what a rare gift you have been given? With your gift you can create happiness in this world. With your gift you can bring smiles to faces and glows to hearts. Are you doing that, or are you at the Petting Zoo hoping the Shetland will wander by for a pat?
I liken it to a recluse who has twenty different travel magazine subscriptions, but never leaves his apartment to experience firsthand the wonders of this world. Are you tucked safely away in your fortress, safe but oh so incomplete?
How do we pass?
A Moment With Bill: Shoulda Coulda Woulda
GRAB LIFE BY THE SHORT HAIRS AND HANG ON
Time is running out! Can you hear the clock ticking? How much more time do you think you have? One month? One year? Ten years? We don’t know, do we, and yet we treat each day as though we have an unlimited supply. It’s high time we stop wasting what precious time we have left and start building that legacy and leaving our mark.
I’m not talking about a Donald Trump kind of legacy where self-worth is measured by the number of toys one has accumulated. Rather, I am talking about a legacy built upon a solid foundation of love for others. Find joy in the knowledge that you have helped others. Find joy in the fact that this world is a better place because you walked upon it, and people will miss you when you are gone because of the gifts you bestowed during your time here. If you can draw your last breath knowing that mankind has been served by your time here, then you will have passed the final test and you will be declared the winner in this game called Life.
The time for your awakening is now. Not tomorrow, or the next day, or when it feels right; the time is now!
Quit making excuses and start upon a path of action. Stop cringing in the face of obstacles and start knocking those obstacles down. Stop listening to those who say you are unworthy or that you don’t have what it takes, and prove them all wrong.
The time is now! Today is the day you build a new legacy, and today is the day you shout to the world, at the top of your lungs, that you are a force to be reckoned with and you will not go quietly into the eternal sleep without having given your legitimate reasons for passing through this life.
Blessings to you all.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)