Someday I am going to die. This isn’t coming from a morbid place; rather, I find it compelling to recognize at some unknown future date I’m going to lose everyone I love. I have had thousands of chances to tell the people I hold dear that I love them – in a way they can feel it; in a way I can feel it – and I’ve missed most of them. All I am left with is this moment, the very moment I’m living in right now. And I have no idea how many more moments I have. It’s like I’m playing in a game, and I don’t know how much time is left on the clock.
So why am I feeling impatient waiting here in line at the grocery check out? The person ahead of me is trying to buy some steaks, and the bar scanner isn’t working. The head clerk just came over and they need to unpack the bags and rescan the entire order. No one is at fault, and this will cost me at most 3 minutes. Why do I feel disgruntled? This is the only moment I have, and I don’t know how many more moments I’ll get. Do I want to spend this moment disgruntled, or do I want to soak in this experience (maybe even find a way to help), even if it’s one I wouldn’t choose.
Being aware of my own mortality is the first step. It’s a way of opening the door to a more compassionate life.