How to Live Between the Papers

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The other day I was standing in my kitchen listening to a little smooth Jazz pour over me  as  I did a few chores. As I stood there, I contemplated  we all have a beginning and ending. Just like items have a shelf life, we  have a date we will be no more. Now of course no one pops out the womb with an expiration date etched into their rear ends. If that were the case, it would take some of the mystery out of being alive. However, there is two certainties in our world and that’s all living things will die at some point and time. That’s an absolute. As human beings we are guaranteed two pieces of paper in our life: a birth certificate and a death certificate. It’s in between those two documents that we live our lives.

While navigating the gap we should always remember that we should try to make another person’s life better. Mentor a young person that’s in the storm of tragedy. Stand as an example to them that life does have its challenges, but if they persevere obstacles can be conquered. Tutor in an inner city school. To often these schools are visited by poverty and lack of community resources. Instill the importance of an education and the wonders it can open. Listen to a friend when they need you and be that shelter of hope in their times of trouble. You don’t necessarily have to move outside your comfort zone to help others. There are many other small things you can do to bring a smile to someone’s face or brighten a gloomy day.

 Don’t let death meet someone you love without saying I love you while they are on this plane of life. Let them know through words and actions that you care. Listen when they need you and be ready to help them navigate through whatever troubles life has brought them. Break bread or eat a meal with that important person in your life as often as your schedule allows. We all like to text, Facebook, email and Instagram. However, a phone call, Skype, or even a face time moment just seems more personal than words typed on a screen. The personal human connection is so important.  I believe we have lost some of that in the age of quick communication. I would gladly give anything to hear my late mother’s voice once again. I miss you still Mom.

            Passion. I believe in life we should all find a passion that fulfills our existence. Some are blessed to work in their passion each and every day. However, if you are not that lucky at least find time to do whatever it is you love. It would be a travesty to go thru life without finding out what cause or activity brings joy to your spirit. I believe a person should make time during the week to pursue whatever they are passionate about. Carve it out of the granite that is your schedule and get away from family or the daily routine to indulge in whatever makes your spirits rise. Doing that alone can be  stress relief. If it’s writing, find an hour a week or whatever you can afford to do it.  If you are a lover of reading find a quiet spot and read for a few minutes to unwind. If you have a charity or a cause you are passionate about then create time to be involved.

Find time to love. The world is filled with so much hate. Our televisions are loaded with images of death and carnage every day. It’s easy to become numb to all the evil in our world. From mass shootings to terrorist groups we become not indifferent but use to it. Hate fills our eyes. It seems that hate has become a living being that walks among us leaving bodies and blood in its evil wake. Philando Castille and Alton Sterling didn’t ask for what happened to them. We saw two unthreatening African American men shot to death before our eyes. The police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas didn’t ask for their lives to be taken. They were only doing what thousands of police officers do every day, protect our streets from crime and violence. Love is the answer to hate. It’s the light that devours darkness and replaces it with kindness and understanding. Love births humility and tolerance from its loins not avarice and misunderstanding.  So I say spread love wherever you can.  Give love freely to the world and maybe we can change it for the better. Then when we receive the final piece of paper we will ever receive, hopefully the world will be a little better because we fertilized others with love and not hate. Do that and flowers not weeds will grow in the garden of humanity.