Life’s Change Agent…

It’s been a thoughtful week for me brought on by a funeral on Tuesday that I did not attend for someone I used to be close to. His passing was not unexpected. But it’s sad nonetheless. I wondered, ‘do we need to actually be there to honour our dearly departed?’ There’s part of me that knows he knows my sadness and love in spite of my absence.

In the wake of Steve Job’s passing, The Metro on Friday ran a tribute on the front cover:

‘Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.’

It will happen to us all in time. Whether we are ‘prepared’ or not. And I found myself strangely cheered by this alternative and entirely pragmatic point of view.

And then this morning I discovered A Message by George Carlin in the emails I hadn’t quite managed to get to during the week. This email was from Mum and she called it a Masterpiece in the subject line – I think she’s right so I’ve shared his message here for you to judge for yourselves.

George Carlin 1937-2008

A Message by George Carlin

‘The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgement, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

‘We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

‘Remember, to give a smile, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent…

‘We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

‘We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

‘We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

‘These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

‘Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

‘Give time to know, give time to speak! And give time to share these precious thoughts in your mind.


‘Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.’

Such a fitting reminder to pause for the small moments, isn’t it? We really do have much to be grateful for.

4 thoughts on “Life’s Change Agent…

  1. Thanks for this Kym, a timely reminder to get everything into perspective while we still have time. Thing is, you can start living your life 'well' but often it means we're out of step with those around us, who are still rushing round chasing their tails. Do the best you can with what you've got, that's my humble opinion!


  2. Hmmm endearing you say Jack. I'm a bit of a glass half full girl myself but whistling? Even I might feel the urge to slap you. Particularly in the morning. Takes a few hours/cups of coffee to fill my glass.


  3. Oh dear. A bit grim. I hear the message but I don't think this describes me at all. I get up in the morning whistling which both irritates and endears Liam. I have much to be grateful for and try to remain a glass half full person even when life hasn't been that great.


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