What is Life About?
I remember sitting next to my mother’s hospital bed during the days just before she died. She was not conscious, to the best of my knowledge. Her eyes were open, but they were glassy, with no expression in them.
Still, there was an effort there. Or that is what I thought. An effort to see. To hold on.
I tried to imagine how she felt during those last seconds on earth. Trying to see. Trying to be just one more second with someone you love. In this case, me.
What would she have given for just one more second to see me, to hold onto me? Just one more second.
I found myself wondering: If I were dying, what would I give to hold onto life and see the people I love next to me – for just one more second??
Whom would I want next to my bed in the last seconds of my life? And whom would I ask to leave, to not waste my last seconds on earth, to free space for the people I love?
And then I wondered: Why do I have to wait until I’m dying to free my life from those I do not love or do not love me?
After all, I am dying already: If life is a fixed number of breaths, then for every breath I take there is one less in my future. So why wait until my last breaths to surround myself only with those I love and who love me? Why am I wasting my life trying to make relationships work when there is no love?
I realize that almost all I do, including writing this blog, is for love. If I did not love writing, why would I do it? For fame, for potential money? That would be wasting my life, would it not?
All my consulting work is for love. If I did not love helping organizations, why would I do it?
I am a good speaker. You know why? Because I honestly and truly love my audience. Someone once told me that when I lecture it feels as if I am making love to the audience. Hmmmm …
But not everything in my life is done for love. Some of what I do is to earn a living. A lot of it is to accommodate. To appease. To avoid pain. To make others happy even though it does not make me happy.
I have to remind myself of my mother’s hospital room. Would she have spent her last seconds of life trying to accommodate someone, or would she spend those last seconds loving?
I have to review whom I spend time with. Whom I dedicate my time to. What I am doing and why.
I just gave a keynote presentation to over 5,000 MDs who specialize in “anti-aging” – prolonging healthy life. The message I gave them is that love prolongs life. Look at people who are in love. They look radiant, young – while people who hate look old.
My mother died when I left her bed and went to get something to eat. I have asked a lot of people whose loved ones died in a hospital whether there was anyone in the room when they died. And invariably I have heard that death occurred when there was no one in the room.
Yes. Of course. Because love prolongs life.
How much love is there in your life? Whom would you want next to your bed when you are breathing your last breaths?
Whom would you not want? Why don’t you get rid of them now?
I have noticed that companies that are successful have lots of love in them: They love their clients; management loves their employees and vice versa; the organization loves the community it is in and takes care of that community.
Loves prolongs not only our lives but the lives of the organizations we work in or with, the lives of the communities we live in, and the countries we belong to.
I like Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy:
“Live as if you will die tomorrow.
Learn as if you will live forever.”
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes