fragility and unpredictability of life


In our medium-sized hotel we have a workforce of just over 60 employees.  With most of them not exceeding the age of 35 and many unmarried when they first joined us, in the last three years we were blessed to have witnessed a few of our members tying the knot with their sweetheart and starting a new chapter of their lives together.  We also have celebrated the arrival of a few new babies so we jokingly say that almost all of our heads of department have been promoted to be a “grandparent” when the members of their team expanded their respective family tree.  Truly joyous occasions!

Ecclesiastes 3 in the Bible says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…”  There was also a very sad time when we lost the first member of our team this week.  She was only 29 and she lost her battle against colon cancer within a few short months after her diagnosis.  She left us far too young, and far too soon.

As years go by and seeing how fragile and unpredictable life is, I have started to take it to heart this common and popular saying — live everyday like it’s you last!  Being someone who is of Chinese decent, I know many of our race and especially the older generation who are superstitious do not like to talk about death and especially not a saying like this which seems like cursing people to die the next day! But as for me, I have come to embrace what it really means — that we are to live today, and each and every day to the best of our ability and make our life count.  When our head hits the pillow at the end of the day we can say we have lived today well!

I am not the very adventurous type so I do not have a really exciting bucket list which I will try all my might to accomplish and then tick one after the other off and say “been there, done that!”.  When I say “live everyday like it’s your last”, I am actually looking at the small things in life and among them all, my family comes first.  I try to make time for my family especially my elderly parents, and my nieces and nephew who are growing up too fast before my eyes.  I do not want them to say should I be called home to be with the Lord suddenly one day, that the last time they saw me was a month or so ago or they could not even remember when we had a meal together or had a good chat over some trivial things in life.

The worst is holding grudges and be tempted to start a “cold war” after an unavoidable argument or fight especially with our nearest and dearest whom we always take for granted for.  When I am gone I know I would no longer be bothered by any of the earthly matters but what would happen to my loved ones whom I have left behind if I departed without kissing and making up with them after some ugly fight?  They probably will live on with an enormous sense of regret and possible inconsolable sadness weighing in their hearts that we ended our last conversation with anger and hatred toward each other.  I do not want to leave them living the remaining years of their lives deprived of happiness and tormented by guilt nor would I want to be left feeling the same when I am the surviving member and knowing it was far too late to say I am sorry.

I am learning every day to not sweat the small stuff and to live the day like it is my last — love more, hate less; laugh more, cry less and forgive all… how about you?

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