August 1

If you were going to die soon
and had only one phone call you
could make, who would you call
and what would you say?
And why are you waiting?

Stephen Levine


Today's Meditation:

These words get straight to one of the most important questions we can ever ask ourselves:  what remains unsaid between us and other people whom we love?  And why, for goodness' sake, does it remain unsaid?  Pride?  Fear?  Assuming that the other person knows what we would say?  Waiting for the other person to say it first?  Absolutely none of these reasons make much sense, to be honest.

I first heard this idea many years ago when I was living in Germany, and it struck me very strongly.  Since then, I've tried to make it a point to tell people how they've affected me in positive ways--that I appreciate their friendship, that I enjoy working with them, that I really like the ways they do certain things, that they're very special people.  (The trick is to do so without having them think that I want something from them!)

With the idea of death involved, one would hope that your need would be to call someone with a very positive message, for what good would a negative one do anyone?

Thinking about impending death and who you would call with that one phone call lends an intensity to this concept that's very important to consider.  The question forces us to think of a person to whom we haven't said what we need to say, to let that person know something that's very important that they know--and they ought to hear it directly from us.  Because we're limited to one phone call, we ought to be thinking of the most important unsaid thing in our lives, and there's really no valid reason at all why that something shouldn't be said--not fear, not pride, not the possibility of being misunderstood.

This could be the most important phone call that we ever make--not just for ourselves, but also for the person(s) whom we call.  And if we were to do the same thing one week later, who would be the next person on the list?  And how would we be contributing in positive ways to our own lives by sharing important feelings with people who are very important to us?

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people leave things unsaid forever, until it's far too late to say them?  Do you want to be one of those people?

Whom could you call right now with a message to brighten up that person's life in a small way?

Why do we so often think that sharing important ideas is risky?  What are we afraid of? 

For further thought:

You don't get to choose how you're
going to die.  Or when.  You can only
decide how you're going to live.  Now.

Joan Baez


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