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How To Live a Life

My brother dropped dead last week.

I am sorry to start a Noticing in such a depressing way, but in fact, that is what happened. He had a sudden heart attack and was gone.

So this blog post is probably the most presumptuous kind of writing you can read. Who am I to tell you how to live a life? Of course there is plenty of this advice from self-help, spiritual and religious sources. But actually, I don’t really want to tell you how to live your life. I just want to write about what conclusions I am drawing from this shocking experience. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

     1.     Laugh as much as possible and try to get others to laugh.

There is much pain and sadness in the world. Savor the good and the funny. Enjoy yourself as much as you can. That’s what I think, anyway.

     2.     Give generously of your time and talents to whoever can use them most.

Not only should you use your talents to help others because you shouldn’t hoard your gifts, but it will make you happier, much happier. That’s what I think, anyway.

     3.     Nurture your forgiving heart.

As I have written many times before, we are all full of Human Idiosyn-Crazies ™, which I usually define as the endearingly dumb things we all do. But sometimes, they are not that endearing. But he who has never been a pain in the butt to someone at some time, is the only one who should be allowed to present a holier than thou demeanor.  That’s what I think, anyway.

     4.     Learn as much as you can about how the world works and how other people in other cultures live.

It makes us gain perspective. We begin to really understand that we are not the center of the universe. That’s what I think, anyway.

     5.     Celebrate everything you can.

You never know when you will leave this earth. Acknowledge every accomplishment you can, both yours and your family’s and your friends’. Nothing is too small to celebrate. I have written before on why we should celebrate all kinds of things. Make up your own reasons. But celebrate often. That’s what I think, anyway.

My brother is gone.

I will remember him with laughter and understanding.


© 2016 Margery Leveen Sher

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Reader Comments (9)

Beautifully said and totally correct. He was lucky to have a sister who notice all those important parts of life. May his memory be a blessing.

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Amen: I wish this would reach the desk of the people that could benefit from your posting- Life is way to short.
Sorry for your loss- wishing you long life

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteryvonne

Our hearts go out to you, Margery. A brother is such a precious presence in one's life. Your closing line says so much in just a few words about what you must have meant to one another. May that connection sustain you and leave you with forever memories that bring smiles straight from the heart. And, thank you for your wise admonitions to live life every day with appreciation and a spirit of giving and joy. With love and condolences from the two of us.

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBettye Anna and Sid Louick

You are 'spot on'! I believe in the 3 L's:
Love, Live, Let go...etc.

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Lucker

I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. My brother died suddenly of a heart attack on Nov. 30. Exited, just like that. I can imagine how difficult it is for you to get your head around the fact that he is gone. I still can't believe it myself. My condolences to you, Margery.

February 6, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaula G.

All, thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I truly appreciate your writing.

February 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMargery

You wrote beautifully and kindly and with great generosity about your brother. Such wisdom.
Thanks so much for posting this.

February 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRobbie and Sue

It helps to think about how others will remember us as we live our lives. If we can do all of these 5 things, not only will we be remembered fondly, but we will surely be more at peace when we die. That's what I think, anyway. Thank you.

February 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterjerry and sandi

A beautiful way to celebrate your brother's life - your words were meaningful and wise. Our sympathies. Jan and Soop

February 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJan Saferstein

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