suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is
pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not
the manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger
paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care
so very much about those things if you developed an
aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast
while in the shower?
a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing
itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you
stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond
and a stand of pines. Get a life in which you pay
attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration
when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and
off your cell phone. Turn off your regular phone,
for that matter. Keep still. Be present.
a life in which you are not alone. Find people you
love, and who love you. And remember that love is
not leisure, it is work. Each time I look at my
diploma, I remember that I am still a student, still
learning every day to be human. Send an
e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your mom.
Hug your dad.
a life in which you are generous. Look around at the
azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a
full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold
night. And realize that life is glorious, and that
you have no business taking it for granted.
Care so deeply
about its goodness that you want to spread it around.