Again, one should continually ask: (1) What Is? (2) What Matters? and (3) Then What Should I Do?
A (thin) book that reminds one of the importance of this is
Making a Difference with Your Life from Beginning to End
by Linda Ellis and Mac Anderson¹
For more use the DOOR.
The theme here is quite simple: Since we can choose about many things, we should carefully choose how we live.
Ellis and Anderson begin with a quote from Joseph Epstein: “We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents…or the country of our birth…we do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live”².
The “dash” comes from a line in a poem by Linda Ellis: “…he said what mattered most of all was the dash between all those years” [from birth to death]. The entire poem is only 36 lines³ accompanied by commentary by motivational speaker Mac Anderson with brief stories that point out “focusing on … priorities and … continually removing clutter … in life.”
Enjoyable, quotable, and inspirational. For some of you, a good choice as a gift book.
¹ Linda Ellis (poem) and Mac Anderson (commentary), The Dash: Making a Difference with Your Life from Beginning to End (Thomas Nelson, 2012).
² Joseph Epstein, Ambition: The Secret Passion (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1989, p.298)
³ As a poet, I consider some technique here less than sterling (as is some of our attempts at philosophy), yet , nonetheless, force of he poem, the commentary, and the beautiful accompanying color art are most relevant to certain meanings that we think matter.