I can be such a weird dude at times. Imagine that I went for a friend’s father’s burial and what I spent most of my time there doing was write. I didn’t even have my writing pad with me; had to make do with the plain inside back cover of the burial brochure. Somehow, I thank God she didn’t catch me doing that. Even if she did, I wouldn’t have cared much because it was an urge I couldn’t resist. It was way too compelling, and it seemed that her late father was dictating to me what I was writing.
The 12 Revelations
- Beauty is vain; looks fade
- No one is indispensible; Life goes on.
- The grave humbles everyone – both the lowly and the highly get 6 feet
- One’s good name is the best legacy – not cash or real estate
- At death, enemies will rejoice, friends will mourn
- Life is transient; everything passes away
- Most mourners will showcase their best pretense ever – as if they loved you that much, as if they were always there for you, like they were your true friends.
- The one in the coffin is the homilist for the day; others are, at best, commentators
- It’s a day of regrets for everyone – what they wish they did for you, what they wish they said to you, but didn’t. The dead fellow even has more regrets – wishing they loved more, wishing they cared more, wishing they did more.
- At death, one loses, another gains. Nigerian Yar’adua’s death saw Jonathan become president.
- Death gets everyone philosophizing. Raising, as it were, fundamental questions, like: What is the meaning of life? What is the value of things?
- Uncertainty looms! Most times, things just happen!
The 10 Lessons
- Simplify. Simplify! In fact, be notoriously and sophisticatedly simple. To say the least, complexity ain’t worth one bit of the value we accord it.
- Devote the rest of your entire life building the true legacy: a great name. I didn’t see an account balance, number of cars and houses on the funeral oration. Everybody was just talking about the personality.
- Humble yourself. We’re all already 6 feet down, only awaiting delivery.
- Don’t pride looks/appearance beyond necessity. True to it, looking good is good business, but an exaggeration of it is something else. It only serves to make us feel great and to leave a good impression of ourselves on others. That’s all! It’s never an end in itself, which is why you shouldn’t be obsessed about it. Shun narcissism! And refrain from making value judgments and derogatory remarks about people based on their looks.
- A good question to always ask oneself, from the stables of Robin Sharma, is: Who will cry when I die? Try playing your burial scene in your head >> look at the faces of family, friends, fans, foes, strangers who only got to hear about you after you’d died, etc., in that mental scene.
- Relate with life as it truly is: transient. Refrain from holding onto people, things, and positions too tightly. Relish the moment, but be open to change whenever it comes calling.
- Be an everyday philosopher, not a situational philosopher. Always confront yourself with the real questions, the basic questions, the fundamental questions, and then order your life accordingly.
- You’re important. At most, very important. However, you’re not indispensible. Life just rolls on with or without you. All humans can observe a minute silence for you, but Big Ben can’t afford a second standstill. Never forget this one.
- Do it now! To avoid regrets at the end, now is the right time to do whatever you wish for yourself and for others.
- Finally, since uncertainty looms, always have your house in order. You really don’t need an alarm clock for this one.