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A Perspective
On Timelines

Written Sunday 02/26/06 by Joe Rossini

This weekís lesson was inspired by a TV series I watched for the second time on the Discovery Channel, about dinosaurs. While these creatures are always interesting, what struck me the most from watching is the timeline that archeologists have placed on these creatures. Since I have no reason to disbelieve the theories of individuals who invested their lifetimes gathering information and presenting it to us, I believe their theories to be true. According to their data, they believe that dinosaurs roamed our planet for 165 million years. And they became extinct about 65 million years ago. This 230 million year timeline is absolutely astonishing!

The fact that most individuals who live on Planet Earth today are considered fortunate to live to age eighty, itís clear to see that compared to the longevity of the dinosaur age and the number of years following it Ė our individual visit to this great planet is equivalent to the blink of an eye. Yet too few of us ever really care.

Some questions to ponder this week are why canít we learn to live our lives to the absolute BEST of our ability, in order to fully appreciate our short visit here? Also, why canít our governments, the media and big business find ways to profit from searching for and reporting about whatís positive about our world rather than negative?

An eighty year life span doesnít give you much time to do and be all you can, and contribute an honest effort to leave our planet ever so slightly better than you found it. While there are so many economic, sociologic and medical factors that can influence an individualís path through life, just being aware of the brevity of your stay can strongly influence your attitude every day. Too many individuals both young and old tend to eat and drink in excess or fail to restrain themselves from activities that contribute to poor health and broken relationships.

Recently I read an article in BusinessWeek Magazine about Gene OíKelly, a former Chairman and CEO of KPMG International, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, where he worked for three decades. According to Gene, when he was 52 years old and at the peak of his career he felt ďvigorous, indefatigable and damn near immortal. Tragically at this same age he was diagnosed with inoperable late-stage brain cancer. He died 100 days later. During those last 100 days he worked with his wife Corinne and writer Andrew Postman to chronicle and face death with as much brightness if not hope, as possible. His book Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life was published by McGraw-Hill. His message was simple: Confront your own mortality sooner rather than later. During his career he admitted willing to sacrifice his home life for his career. Once Geneís was facing mortality he realized that his thinking was too narrow. He regretted that he wasnít more creative in figuring out a way to live a more balanced life and spending more time with his family.

As illustrated from Geneís story, we never know exactly when our visit to Planet Earth will come to an end. Many lives are cut short by accidents, disease, wars, natural disasters or a multitude of reasons beyond our control. Most of us realize this, yet we continue to bicker and fight over meaningless issues and cause emotional harm to others daily. We continue to view on TV all thatís wrong with our world and stay glued watching the atrocious acts that others commit. Instead of dwelling on and being thankful for whatís good about our kids, parents, spouses, friends, government and world - we seemed compelled to discuss whatís bad about all of them.

Keeping in mind that dinosaurs roamed the earth for 165 million years, why canít we place A HIGH PREMIUM on the meager 80 year life expectancy we might enjoy, if we are lucky enough to make it that long? Why canít our schools discuss this concept with our kids and parents reinforce this concept every day if necessary until in sinks into their consciousness. Instead of worrying about whatís totally insignificant to our well being during our visit to Planet Earth, letís concentrate on how we can help others to enjoy their stay and ours as well. Letís not wait until our lives are coming to an end to begin this process. Be creative in discussing this message as often as possible, so that we may all be able to enjoy a more balanced life during our entire visit here.

Baby boomers are in a great position to make a movement out of this concept. Once you pass age 55, you begin to realize more than ever that you have begun your life cycleís home stretch. Begin cutting out the negativity in your life just as a skilled surgeon cuts out a tumor. Replace that negativity with positive thoughts revolving around love and balance. Stop yourself in your tracks from trying to be right about everything and compromise your ego daily to promote peace and harmony in your relationships. Keep in mind every day that you are only visiting for a blink of an eye. Be the BEST you can be and live in harmony, balance and peace.

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