All men and women are born, live suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about... We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.
I'm thinking again. "Uh-oh," the voices say, "There she goes thinking again!"
This quote fascinates me. So little that is my life actually is in my control, but the biggest, most important factor is mine to hold to use, to misuse, to throw away. That is the choice I make each moment, the choice of "how."
I've spent the last several years trying to make my life as significant as possible. When I say that, I don't mean I'm trying to be important, be noticed, make a big splash. No, what that means to me is that I'm trying to find the legacy (as I talked about in another recent post) I'm to leave and then to live it. I don't think a legacy can be left if one doesn't live up to what the legacy is all about. Otherwise, what we leave is just a shell, something with no substance.
I don't want to live without substance. That's not to say I want to live with so much serious matter that life is a burden. I want to have joy in my life, and I want my children to "inherit" the ability to soar. While I'm diving through the clouds, I hope I can fill myself and those around me with real stuff: thoughtfulness; love; loyalty; kindness; wisdom; flexibility; happiness; understanding; compassion; peace.
I sometimes worry about whether I'm getting it done. I mean, just look at that list! Whew! But I am trying. I try very hard to let my life be what I hope my children will learn. I hope they already have. I hope they can overlook the shortcomings, the mistakes, the times of weakness. If I could, I'd simply erase everything from their lives that causes pain. I'd give them all possible to make their lives easy. I can't. I hope my legacy is enough to carry them through the rest of their lives. I hope I've given them choices.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to leave our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.
~Hodding Carter, Jr.