Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved.
In June of 2000, I gave a presentation at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and was asked to visit some patients, including one elderly Italian man named Joe in the hospice ward, where terminal patients go to die. After battling leukemia for years, Joe decided to live his remaining days without the painful treatments that seemed to have no effect anyway. He’d been told he has a few weeks, possibly a few days left. Doctors were now just trying to make him comfortable so he could die with dignity, in peace.
We spoke for about an hour and I asked him what advice he had for living life. He looked me in the eye and spoke with certainty:
“Take one day at a time. Take nothing too seriously. Have no regrets.”
We spoke in more detail, but basically, Joe supported all those motivational cliches we hear all the time. I guess these cliches come from older, wiser people who’ve experienced life.
I believe that just before we’re about to die our lives are put in perspective. I also believe if we can acquire that perspective early on and apply it, it’ll minimize our stress and maximize our enjoyment of life. Meeting Joe was a powerful reminder of what is important to me. When I got home I hugged Rachel so tight she gasped.
Joe’s dying comments are words to live by.
To read more motivation, check the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.