What’s the measure of a good man’s life?

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A friend of mine was killed last week in a tragic workplace accident. He was only 35 years old, and yet he touched so many lives during that short time. He was not a wealthy man, but he had wealth most of us only dream about. He did not have a doctorate from a fancy university, but he knew more about life and people than anyone I know. His passing caused me, and I think many others, to stop and reevaluate our own lives. I found myself asking questions that were difficult to answer: How am I living this precious thing we call life, what do I really value, and what will I leave behind when my time comes?

Bobby lived Big. He put his whole being into his work, his family and his friends. He was my friend, and I don’t make friends easily. His death caused me to consider the finite days that I have left on this earth, and like many others, I have wasted too much of my time chasing material possessions and wealth. Sadly, I once calculated my value, as a human being, by solving equations that usually include dollar signs. In contrast, Bobby’s wealth was gauged by love and relationship. His death snapped me out of my life’s trance and forced a reassessment of what really matters.

Our ability to think past the “here and now” and to contemplate our own fate separates us from other species. When my mind turns to these matters, I recount the “regrets” of an unthoughtful life. If honest with myself, I say that I am remorseful for: spending too much time at work and away from my family, not seeking-out the inherent worth of people, and chasing temporal wealth. By contrast, I don’t think that Bobby had regrets; if he did, he certainly did not allow them to affect how he lived his life or how he treated other people.

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