Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In Memoriam

This is a (rare) serious item from me. I’ll be brief.

I have a friend at work who is dying of brain cancer. About a year ago today they operated on him and removed a tumor. Now he has several more tumors and is beyond further treatment. He’s not really there anymore: he doesn’t know anyone but his wife, can’t even speak his native tongue, is paralyzed, blind, and in constant pain. They just moved him to hospice so he can live out these last few weeks, which we are all hoping will be very short.

He was the kind of work friend that you are close enough to to discuss stuff about your families, talk philosophy with when you’re supposed to be working, and rely on for help outside the office. Not a lifelong friend, but a good friend while your paths cross. He was smart, too, one of the best engineers I ever worked with.

He just turned 47 a month ago. His kids aren’t even 18.

I tell you that to tell you this: you don’t know if tomorrow it’ll be you having the incident that means your life is over.

We get caught up in debates about politicians, or the environment, or whatever else. It’s important. But ultimately that’s not why you’re here. I don’t know what your reason is, nor what your life goals are, and they’re different for everybody. But it’s important to remind people of this singular truth every once in a while:

Whatever you feel your purpose in life is, get out there and do it. Stop making excuses for why you can’t.

Yesterday is past, and tomorrow isn’t promised. You’ve only got today to work towards your goal.

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