My wife is diligent about expiration dates on food, medicine, etc. Me – not so much. I use the sniff test on food and I figure meds all have some extra time engineered in them.
But what about personal expiration dates. We all have one but we just don’t know when it is coming due.
Think about this. What if we were also born with a built in Life Gauge that tells you how much time you have left?
How might we do that? Well, we could do that by how well we live our lives.
Are we taking good care of our physical bodies. Are we living a good life? Are we do the right things for ourselves and others? Are we making the world around us a better place or are we taking from it and not replenishing it?
From a very early age the majority of human beings know the difference between right and wrong.
But, too many of us compromise the way we live at times during our lives. We make excuses for lying, cheating, or being a Fox commentator. “Everyone else does it.” Or, “What’s the use. I’m going to get mine now.” “If you’re not looking out for number one, you’re a sucker!”
Other people give up on themselves. They spend hours each day in front of the TV. Or, they are afraid. They stop living and wait for the tank to empty. They quit learning and loving.
Then there are the folks who almost always have a full tank. You can recognize them by how they walk across the street. It’s almost like there is a cape flowing from their shoulders because their heads are high and they are LIVING.
They are the people who stop to talk and give a few bucks to the homeless guy on the street. They are the woman who organizes an Internet Fund Drive to build water wells in some of the poorest places on the globe. They are the old man who volunteers at the food pantry, the pet shelter and the nursing home. They are kids who build lemonade stands to help sick children they’ll never meet.
They spend their extra time learning new skills to help themselves and others. Eating right and moving is important to them.
Doing the right thing is the most important thing to them.
And, so the needle on their life gauge stays near full.
Now here is the good news! We already have a built-in Life Gauge!
It is your heart! Listen to it and you’ll know if you’re running full of life, getting low, or running on empty. When we were kids we knew this to be true. That’s why it is easy to live such full lives as a kid. That’s why a kid will just blurt out “I love you!” to everyone.
But, over time some hearts harden and are more difficult to hear. It’s not always your fault this happens. People do senseless and sometimes terrible things to kids and to each other. And, that can have the affect of blocking us from what our heart is saying.
But you can get unblocked. It’s starts by looking in the mirror and smiling and telling yourself that you are worthy of love, that you are lovable and that you can love others. And, then you begin with one act of kindness. Make it random if you want. Volunteer at the soup kitchen. Ask the priest or minister of the church down the street if you can do anything to help them out. Call a pet shelter and ask them what kind of pet food you can donate and then go buy as many bags as you can afford and personally deliver them.
Sign-up for a class in something you’ve never tried. Buy a banjo and find a teacher. Tutor for free. Hold a child’s hand.
Stand up to the bullies in the world and not just the ones in the playground. There are plenty of adult bullies masquerading as teachers, politicians, bankers, lawyers, judges, and consultants. Don’t let them get away with making the world worse and sucking some of your life energy away.
Do the right thing!
And, little by little, your Life Gauge will send a stronger and stronger signal.
Eventually it will fall to empty but it won’t be because you haven’t lived. You will have lived a rich and full life. And, you will have left your world – our world – a better place for having been here.