What We Leave Behind

Jim:    Wow.  I guess you just can’t get enough.  If you followed this series from the beginning you’re listening to podcast number 69.  And, perhaps that deserves a reward.  Listen at the end of the podcast to find out what that may be.  For some of our true believers, for some of our consistent listeners, this podcast may seem like an anomaly.  It may be just a bit out of the square.  However, remember that we do present a consistent theme of positivity and living life out loud.  So, please, don’t be turned off – or turn off this podcast by our following discussion.  As always, these are challenge podcasts.  And, this is merely a different focus to challenge you to participate in your life.  A life of full-impact mindfulness and being in every moment – being a human being rather than a human doing as we refer to in a previous podcast.  Listen on my friends.  Prepare another map, another direction to chart your way through this world.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, what’s a subject that most people avoid?  They move around talking about?  Or even thinking about?  Quite often, it’s about their own death.  It’s about their own mortality.  It’s about facing your death.  As is our choice, we often look at it from another perspective – using death as a motivating force, we help people to face life.  Quite a paradox.  We’ve spoken before in our previous outings about a quote by Ray Kurzweil who said death gives meaning to our lives.  It gives importance and value to time, and time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.  What do you think about that, Mike?

Mike:    Absolutely.  If we had eternity, then what immediacy would there be to do anything?

Jim:    And, do you remember what Ponce de Leon was searching for when he discovered Florida?  Although how someone can discover something when people have been living there for an untolled number of years and perhaps will give rise to a future podcast on the audacity and arrogance of humans – do you remember what he was looking for?

Mike:    Absolutely.  The fountain of youth.

Jim:    Right.  He was looking for the fountain of youth.  So, people want to live forever.  They want to be immortal.  Mike, do you think people search for the fountain of youth or immortality because their life is so great or satisfying that they wish it to go on forever?

Mike:    No.  They just fear the absence of it.

Jim:    Indeed.  Generally, it’s because they’re unhappy with their own existence and wish something would change if they had enough time.  Well, Mike, with full-impact mindfulness we insist on helping people pay attention on purpose, and point out again the importance of labeling and describing, and the concept of using time as currency.  And, these concepts can be referred to in previous podcasts.  So, perhaps you’ve seen movies or TV shows, or read stories or books about attending your own funeral.  Have you not, Mike?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    Isn’t that what The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is about?  Do you remember the main thrust of the story?  Do you remember the event that truly changes Scrooge’s attitude and perspective on life?

Mike:    Seeing his own funeral.  Seeing his own tombstone.  And, the people that do care.  

Jim:    Indeed.  He was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Future. And, in the future he was no longer in existence.  He had crossed over.  So, Scrooge got a second chance.  We are perhaps not so fortunate.  And, again, this is about being right here and right now.  I would like you to imagine two scenarios: one where your life – your physical life has ended and the values that you have and what you hope to be remembered by; I would also like you to think of what you would be afraid that people would mention about you, what you would be concerned about.  So, Mike, do you know who Alfred Nobel was?  

Mike:    Is he the guy that we have the Nobel Peace Prize for?

Jim:    Indeed.  Of course.  He originated the Nobel Prize.  And Nobel Prizes are given for achievements in arts, literature, the sciences, humanities, and the like.  However, did you also know that Alfred Nobel made his fortune from inventing dynamite?

Mike:    Often brought up fact considering the Peace Prize.  

Jim:    So, what changed his perspective on life?  He was reading the newspaper after his brother had died, and the newspaper published his obituary by mistake.  And, the obituary stated the Merchant of Death is dead.  It said, Dr. Alfred Nobel who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever died yesterday.  That took Nobel back, and he set aside the majority of his estate to establish the Nobel Foundation.  So, today, he’s not remembered as the Merchant of Death.  He left behind his values and what he stood for.  It’s time now to write your own epitaph.  And, this is not an epitaph of your death.  It’s an epitaph of your life.  This is a guide for going forward.  We often talk about modeling behavior.  We talk continuously about finding purpose and meaning in life and making your own mark.  This is the challenge for you.  This is not about your death – this is about your life, being right here and right now.  I challenge you to not leave anything on the playing field. I challenge you not to leave anything on life.  Be carried off it.  Crawl off it.  Right now, I can’t say that, more often and hope that it sticks.  Mike, we’re going to keep throwing that against the wall – be right here; be right now.  When the Greek soldiers would go off to war, their mothers would often say come home with your shield, or come home on it.  As I stated at the beginning of the podcast, for those of you who have listened to every single one of them – and I stated earlier you deserve a reward.  So, if you would contact us – and Mr. Mike will explain to you at the end of the podcast how to do that, we will send you out a certificate of accomplishment that you Fish Without Bait, and that you live a life of meaning and joy with full-impact mindfulness.  Keep in mind, once again, that we’re spiritual beings having a temporary human experience.  And, when we cross over, it’s only my thought that you won’t be asked if you died the richest person in the cemetery.  The Creator, the Divine, the All may say to you I gave you gifts, talents and abilities, what did you do with them?  My hope is that you have an answer.  Until then, impact a life today by a smile, a kind word, or a gesture.  Be good to yourself.  Be good to another.  Forgive yourself and forgive another.  Namaste.  


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