(Picture – Mustapha 3years old, whose father died before he was born and mother died 3 days after his birth, and is now raised by his grandmother with some assistance from me, tries to help in return.)
When I die, I would like people to think of me as – “He tried”. I thought about this today as I was walking, and the tears flowed. I realized I have done many things, even here, but there is so much left to do. I thought about how much of my life I had wasted in younger years giving into fear, unknowing, uncertainty, and multiple other learned or controlled responses.
How much of my time did I give to learning the wrong things, being forced to learn things that neither interested me, nor made me better. How much time did I waste listening to people telling me don’t do that because – they believed it was wrong, unnecessary, and useless. How much time did I spend getting rid of the beliefs of others, the way of life of others, and of course, much of which didn’t even matter to me?
When I think back now, I realize how much of my young life was spent emulating others who knew not where they were going and doing things that mattered to them, and only them. At the same time, there were so many others who were waiting for a handout, a hand up, or just a sign of encouragement to begin their lives as they lay trapped in conditions, philosophies, religions, and politics that really had no relevance to the life they desired. How many people have lived lives “of quiet desperation” because they were taught and believed their lives were predestined by some god or other?
They didn’t believe that the spiritual god that is part of each and everyone of us gave us all the tools and equipment that we need to make the life we wish to have, if we just believe in ourselves, and the gifts that we have been given to accomplish whatever we can dream in our hearts.
Most of us have been taught to believe in a man god who controls every aspect of our lives, including our dying, albeit we witness everyday people who eclipse dying, by the sheer will power of living. With the advances in knowledge and modern medicine people live longer, with a little help.
Sadly, we live in controlled societies that wish to ensure that most people only rise to a certain level, otherwise what they have will be taken from them. There has been and still is sufficient abundance in this world to ensure everyone has a good life with enough food and other material things that one needs to live their lives.
The controls come from the structures created by those that supposedly know what’s best for everyone. The reality is, the spiritual god gave us a tool kit of a heart, a brain, and muscles to create whatever kind of life that we desired; unfortunately, and perhaps deliberately he left that to our own making.
Yet, we see people stuck because they are in poverty, uneducated, belittled, suppressed, oppressed, along with many other limitations. But the world is full of people who overcame all these constraints to go on to make magic in the world.
First, we need to appreciate the magic that surrounds us, appreciate the gifts we’ve been given, understand our limitations and recognize how to overcome them. Second, we need to search for wisdom and recognize the artificial fiction that is often presented as knowledge. Then, we must look deep inside ourselves to discover our true selves: who we are when we are completely honest with ourselves; and accepting that. We need to consider what has been given to us and passed down in our genes.
Ultimately, we must decide to overcome the impediments we see in our minds with the power of the love and compassion that is vested in our hearts. Then we must let the magic of life take over and guide us where we need to go and not fear all the possibilities of “what might be missing” because if something is missing in us, we can find it in someone else.
If we share with each other, we will discover the whole range of possibilities that there are for each, and every one of us. It’s the sharing that creates community, the sharing that creates economy, it’s the sharing that establishes communion and the sharing that creates the foundation of meaningful society, one that fosters and encourages each, and every one of its citizens to have a full and meaningful life.
We must realize that we alone can do many things no matter our limitations, be they be physical, spiritual, or economic, but together with others we can create a world filled with compassion, hope and love where everyone plays a part and has their needs met. This is not a dream, and even if it were, dreams can be made real if we believe, commit and, work in harmony with others.
We don’t all need to be alike, think alike, believe alike, dress alike or act alike. We only need to be as we truly are and respect everyone else’s right to be as they are.
When I die, I will die with gratitude to everyone who accepted my decision to be as I am, helped me to be who I am and afforded me the opportunity to try the many things that I have tried. I will be grateful to those who celebrated with me my many small accomplishments, and those who I have encouraged to just try and who found their own pathway to be who they are. I have come to understand that what’s important in my life is not what I did, it’s what others did with a little encouragement and support, and that was much more important than anything that I did myself.
Because, in the finality of life my only accomplishment was that I tried, and it encouraged others to try as well, and their lives became better, and those they in turn encouraged to try made life better for them as well.
Life is very simple, when we realize that it is about trying not doing and realizing we don’t have to be where we are suffering, fretting, and regretful. Because if we try and find others who encourage and help us, we can move on to a life for everyone that we now only dream about. Every day is a new beginning, every day a new day to start trying; and every day can bring small accomplishments which will eventually lead to a bigger one.
When I die, I only hope people will remember that I tried, and tried and tried again, and sometimes something good happened.
Written by William (Bill) Pardy
September 11th, 2021