Today I saw a very dear friend who’s making his ‘bucket list’. Having been given a year to live he is approaching the task with humour, realism, courage and grace. He has asked me to MC his funeral and I don’t think I have ever felt so humbled in my life.
Many of us are given the privilege of walking this road with a fellow traveller as they face their future which is in many ways more certain than our own – twice I have been so blessed.
Normally we go about our daily lives largely oblivious to their temporal nature and to the somewhat irrelevant minutiae upon which we focus. As in “The Matrix’” and so many other stories we need a belief and a purpose to hold on to, and we need to feel that all the scurrying around that we do has some meaning underlying it.
I sit in a café observing those around me – the conversations, the interactions and the dynamics. My friend, upon thinking about cashing in his Superannuation – a strange thought for a 35 year old man – initially thought of all the technology toys and gadgets he could buy, but then as he browsed the magazines he realized there was no point. What happiness would that bring him – collecting more “stuff” wasn’t going to be of any use where he was going.
As with Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff” (http://www.storyofstuff.com/) our obsession with physical goods and the need for more – echoes of my previous post on “growth” – is perhaps a physical manifestation of our human need to acquire, to compete and to surround ourselves with things which perhaps represent meaning but are mere symbols and empty ones at that.
In the first episode of Season 3 of “Heroes” Sylar reflects with Claire what potential there would be for the human race if we use more than the 10 to maybe 20% of our brains estimated. If we focused our energies on out human potential and larger fuses such as saving the planet or indeed ourselves what a different place the world would be. As the Terminator tells John Connor “it is in your nature to destroy yourselves” but is this necessarily so?
Funnily enough for me the first time I walked this road it was life-changing. Having been given this precious gift a second time perhaps it is an opportunity to change others.
“There is no future but what we make” – welcome to the challenge.