By A.D. Jenkins, NDG Columnist
This past weekend, I attended my father’s homegoing celebration service in Waterproof, La. Amazingly, Cleveland Brown lived to see 91 years on this earth. During the services, my mind wondered: Are we living to die or dying to live? Let us dive into each one a little deeper.
Living to Die – The process of going through the motion of life lacking enthusiasm and zest. In your mind, you are convinced your life is a daily routine. There are no major occurrences, milestones nor events to highlight your life as one of significance. You are born, you live and you die.
Dying to Live – The process of living with a purpose which demonstrates incredible passion and desire to achieve. In this case, your life is far from being in a rut. Every day is an opportunity to create, move forward or start something special. The key is treating each day as another opportunity to fight for a worthwhile cause.
Those who are living to die do not feel the urge to go the extra mile. These individuals are not doing anything wrong. However, nothing moves them to go out of the way to doing anything right either. At times, they think about stepping out of their comfort zone, but doubt and failure show up and steal the energy to take a chance. Therefore, life takes on the thought pattern of should have, could have and why didn’t I.
Dying to live is the opposite. These individuals have minds injected with “out-of-the-box” thinking each day. They do not have time to focus on dying, because there is so much to accomplish in life. To someone with this mindset, moving from familiar to unfamiliar is a lifestyle. This deliberate intention to live a purposeful life disrupts routine and normality. Life takes on the thought pattern of what ifs, how about and why not me.
Personally, I choose dying to live because it breathes hope and courage. I encourage you to start that new business, join the organization, enroll in school, go after the promotion, apply for the new job, restore a bad relationship, vote in every election and stand up for something. Explore a self-assessment to determine what areas to challenge yourself.
My father lived a full, meaningful life with a focus on family. Even until his last breath, he was dying to live. He fought the good fight and finished the course while keeping the faith. He was not a perfect man but spent his life-giving and providing for many in his community.
Dad, I salute you for inspiring others to be a trailblazer!!
A.D. Jenkins serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Irving Independent School District. The views and opinions expressed herein of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Irving ISD, its Board of Trustees or its employees.