Most people are praised most consistently, most ardently, at their funerals.
I do not understand this phenomenon. In fact, I am against it. I cannot fathom this one thing: why we honor those most cherished among us primarily (sometimes only) in grief.
Why is this?
Do we not take the time to think about what we appreciate about others until they are gone?
Are we not brave enough to tell them?
Do we lack the habit of seeing the best in people day to day?
Do we avoid the moment as too awkward?
But these questions diagnose. They are the wrong questions.
Because the question we should be asking is, “How would the world I influence be better if everyone I know, everyone I meet, felt the full force of my attention and acknowledgement of them?”
It looks different for everyone–some give words, others a listening ear, still others eye contact or empathy. But we all give something, or, at least, we can.
And we should. Because our worlds would be better if we did that.
And THE World is the sum of our worlds.
Sure, I’m altruistic, but I’m not naive. I don’t think being current with people, or giving some tribute to another will change the world, but I do think it would make the world better.
Or at least it would make yours better.
And mine better.
And maybe someone would be inspired by that.
Maybe someone would find courage from that.
So what do you have to give?
Who needs to hear from you or receive from you?
Don’t wait. Don’t regret. But don’t do it because of that. Do it because you know what you can give, because you believe in the effect you can have.
And for us to influence our worlds, we need you to influence us as a part of yours.