“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” – Ernest Hemingway
I live in what I like to call “a human fishbowl,” a midrise building with 175 condo units of various sizes and configurations. This array is also reflected by its inhabitants with their assorted ages, life experiences, choices and attitudes on display in the ways they conduct themselves and treat others (including the building employees).
Some people talk so incessantly about themselves that I’ve seen people literally hide behind a decorative tree so as not to have to listen to them! And there are those who are downright nasty, with an arrogant air of entitlement that extends to everyone in the building who is not a member of their in-crowd.
Sadly, some of these downright rude and angry people are seniors who rigidly refuse to compromise or accommodate any other person’s point of view.
But there are also those who are a delight to be around, and some of these bright lights are also seniors. They have the usual aches and pains and obstacles to overcome but they choose to not bitterly complain about their ailments or take any of their issues out on others. They seem to have a smile, a joke, a compliment for each person they encounter. And they appear to be grateful for the good in their lives.
To me, this difference in attitude is all about choice. We have control over very little in our lives other than our attitudes which lead to our choices. Unfortunately, those nasty rude people most likely are not at all aware that they can choose how they wish to behave in any situation. And even worse, I don’t think they’d care.
How surprised each of these people is going to be when they cross over to the Other Side and get their Life Review, during which they will experience all the negative ways they made people feel and how this impacted those people. They will learn that life is supposed to be about love, including loving kindness towards others and compassionate love towards oneself.
And how about the karmic consequences of their hostile attitudes that will have ramifications for them in lifetimes to come?
I have been to quite a few funerals of late. There was the one that stood out because everyone at the funeral was so relieved that this difficult, disagreeable person had finally died. And then there was the one where people expressed both their sadness that their loved one had died and their gratitude of having had him in their lives because he was such a good and kind and loving man.
We will each be remembered when we die for how we lived. What would you like people to be saying about you and the ways you chose to live your life when your life ends?