Monday, November 7, 2011

Dying as you Live

In his excellent blog, The Bloggers of the Round Table, Simon Parke writes about the dying of Philip Gould. Unknown to us Americans, Philip Gould was a pollster of much renown who found fame in his use of focus groups. Tony Blair cited him as central to the rise of New Labour. Yesterday he died of cancer and Mr. Parke pulls out this quote, "he'd not have wanted to die the person he was before the cancer."

What wonderful and chilling words. Wonderful, because he had the time and space to realize who he was. Chilling, because as he lived he was not ready to die. The statement invariably turns to a question for me. Would be satisfied to die as the man I am? Do I really live how I want to live? Or do I play the game and say, tomorrow I'll do what I should today. Clean my room, love my neighbor, all that can wait until tomorrow. I have dollars to win and accomplishments to accomplish. Small things like love and sacrifice and simple kindness can wait until tomorrow.

May I be a man who can die today.

1 comment:

  1. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, we had conversations like this, though not as succinctly stated as you did. One of her struggles was with forgivenes - forgiveness of those who had done wrong by her, but more importantly, those who she loved. I feel that she started to embrace her future when she was able to reconcile those feelings.

    I think the lead character in, "Life as a House" spends his time trying to do exactly what you mention.