Live Like You Were Dyin' (With No Regrets)
I was watching Men in Black 3, a 2012 film, on Netflix one morning, and a quote jumped out of me. Agent K, played by Tommy Lee Jones is speaking on the phone to Agent J, played by Will Smith. Agent K says, “You know the most destructive force in the universe?” Agent J answers, “Sugar?”, to which Agent K provides, “Regret.” This scene occurs right before Agent K is time travelled backwards and meets, or doesn’t meet, his own death at the expense of Boris the Animal. I won’t give anymore spoilers to the movie, but this quote does prove a long-researched point.
According to the author Bronnie Ware, there are 5 top regrets of the dying. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”, she quotes in her book.
In 2004, country singer Tim McGraw recorded the #1 song “Live Like You’re Dying”. It was written by the song writing team of Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman. The duo crafted the song based on family and friends who learned of illnesses (cancers), and how they often had a new perspective on life upon learning that they had limited time remaining. They decided to write a song based on the concept, hoping that it might inspire someone in such a situation. The song's lyrics center on experiencing life to its fullest, while also becoming a better person.
In 2004 this song was embraced by millions of people. The book was inspired by the song and according to the back cover, “weaves a tale of the miracles that happen once you stop being so busy with life that you actually have time to live it.” I was fortunate to pick up the book at a local thrift store at a bargain price of $1.50, but it is available through Amazon.
In conclusion, I leave you to ponder the song’s lyrics.
Live Like You Were Dying
He said "I was in my early 40's With a lot of life before me When a moment came that stopped me on a dime I spent most of the next days Looking at the x-rays Talkin' 'bout the options And talkin' 'bout sweet times"
I asked him when it sank in That this might really be the real end How's it hit ya When you get that kind of news? Man whatcha do? And he said
"I went skydiving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu And I loved deeper And I spoke sweeter And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin' " And he said, "Some day I hope you get the chance To live like you were dyin' "
He said, "I was finally the husband That most the time I wasn't And I became a friend a friend would like to have And all of a sudden goin' fishin' Wasn't such an imposition And I went three times that year I lost my dad Well I, I finally read the good book And I took a good long hard look At what I'd do if I could do it all again And then"
"I went skydiving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu And I loved deeper And I spoke sweeter And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin' " And he said "Some day I hope you get the chance To live like you were dyin' "
"Like tomorrow was a gift And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it What did do with it? What did I do with it? What would I do with it?"
"Skydiving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu Then I loved deeper And I spoke sweeter And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'"
And he said "Some day I hope you get the chance To live like you were dyin' To live like you were dyin' To live like you were dyin' To live like you were dyin' To live like you were dyin'"
As always, have a life well-lived, and a death well-planned.