A Life Well Lived
Yesterday’s strong social media response to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s death poignantly showed the contrast between the human resilience and strength and splendor he wrote about and the reminder of life’s fragility that accompanies the end of life. Stories abounded of a life well lived — a full life rich with understanding about the human condition.
I was moved by Marquez’s letter of farewell, written to declare his “retirement from public life.” It’s worth reading the whole letter, but I thought I’d post my favorite excerpts…
“If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability….To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves….I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.”
“Say always what you feel, not what you think. Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish. Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know….Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.”
This is such simple wisdom — a lifetime of learning boiled down to what is most essential and universal — important reminders for all of us.
Happy Friday. May today bring love, peace, and clarity.