Sunday, June 5, 2011

Come Alive

by Jonathan Meade

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what   makes you come alive.

Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?


I would still be doing what I am do now: work to protect my community from a coal fired power plant that will leave the water and air filthy, and the land unfit for children, gardens, and wildlife. I would do it in a way so passionate and urgent that I can't imagine what that might look like.

Perhaps it would be sharing my ideas and concerns with the young people here, as they have everything to gain from any success I may have with this work. It could be insisting that those who have turned a deaf ear try to listen once with an open mind.

I would take my grandchildren to a museum where they could shout in excitement about what they see, and touch whatever begged to be touched.

Asking questions and listening more so I would better understand what matters to people would be a priority.

I hope the small motions of life would seem rich to me, something to be appreciated for its routine and simpleness (dumping coffee grounds into the compost bucket, cooking with someone and laughing until we cried)    

Telling people how thankful I am for what they have shared with me would saturate everything I do. Writing it down so they have it later would be a real way of doing that.

Above all, I hope I would tell the people I love what they have meant to me, and encourage them to share what made our relationship special with someone else.

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