Suppose (God forbid?) the world were suddenly to end, or (equivalently?) you were abruptly to drop dead. Then run the movie of your life backward and consider: what ultimate act of kindness would you have done before that final instant? Did you bring in the morning newspaper for a still-sleeping spouse? Pick up a piece of trash on the sidewalk? Slow your car to let a maniacal driver merge into traffic in front of you? Listen patiently to a friend's rant? Smile at a stranger?

Choose any random moment. Odds are overwhelming that the last positive action preceding it will be trivial, not a heroic front-page-news rescue or a world-class contribution to the welfare of humanity.

That's all right; hey, maybe it's even great. Simply imagining "this could be the last time" ennobles even the most negligible good deed.

Just don't think it constantly, OK?

TopicLife - 2002-08-09

(correlates: DeptOfRedundancyDept, GoWords, InvisibleWeb, ...)