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The Legacy

June 3, 2024


A friend of mine passed away a few weeks ago at 80 years old.  He was an avid reader and writer and had completed three books. He loved boats and sailing and spent a lot of time outdoors with many summers in Norway.  He was a hard worker, kept in shape and his healthy diet and lifestyle insured there were no extra pounds.  The cause of death was a heart attack. 


Upon hearing the news, I found myself contemplating the purpose of life.  It seems all the efforts that one invests in a lifetime are fatalistic since death is inevitable.  I had heard that problem-solving and lesson-learning strengthens the soul.  Releasing old burdens and balancing karmic debts helps one on their journey to nirvana or whichever spiritual retreat your belief impresses upon you.  While these concepts resonate with me, I still felt that something was missing. 


The most comforting thought that came to me was that there is more to life than just living.  I read that life is like a train.  You choose before boarding where you want to go. You get on and then you decide what you’re going to do with your time while traveling to your destination-read a book, complain about the length of the trip, look out the window, sleep- you decide. I like this analogy.


The experiences you create are what give meaning to your life and a sense of purpose that provides direction and significance.  As you evolve, become more efficient and effective, your joy, satisfaction and contentment touch other lives.  Viewing the world around you with empathy and a sense of integrity creates a meaningful existence that benefits others.   Therefore, the purpose of life is to make a positive difference, to do something that matters to others.  You may never know how many lives you have impacted, maybe just in one brief moment.   The meaning of life is to give life meaning and how you do that will become your legacy.


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