The other day I attended the funeral of my best friend from childhood’s Mother. Her name was Carolyn. She was quite the woman, having an impact on so many lives during her time here on Earth. Now, when I was young, I looked upon Carolyn with different eyes or at least a different set of values. The manner in which she approached everyday life appeared, well, kind of calloused and very non-nuturing. Of course, that’s coming from her son’s best friend, who was on the outside looking in, but it was always Mark do this, Mark do that….right before we were ready to go out on the boat…Mark, you have to (and a list of 5 things would spout out)…I mean really, it was quite the inconvenience. You see, as is with most young folks, when the plan didn’t go as expected, well darn it, we didn’t like it. Let’s just say, the plan rarely worked out the way we (Mark or I or any other friends that were around for that matter) expected it to if Mrs. Carolyn was around. Therefore, my opinion of Carolyn at that time was, well, much less than favorable.
You see, the thing I didn’t give any importance to about Carolyn were the things that went on beyond my petty inconveniences. I mean, I knew she did Meals on Wheels and did things with several other charitable organizations, but that was the extent of it, I knew about it. Man, but there was so much more. The list went on and on as I read the obituary the family put together and as I talked to some folks at the funeral. Not to mention, she cultivated four absolutely spot on kids. Successful in career, successful in family, darn it, really just successful in life. Of course, we cannot forget the marriage that she and her husband kept going for so many years, through the thick and the thin, between two very strong-minded folks, a miracle in itself.
Now that I am older, and much, much, much wiser, well, I have been able to venture beyond the cover of this book. To see Carolyn for what she really was, and that was a beacon of selflessness and compassion. A woman, with the strength and persistence to always do the right thing, and let others know when they weren’t. A trait rarely seen today in any part of the world. A woman whose expectations for the world around her were not to gain her favor, but to enable those she touched to live a better life. A woman who rarely if ever wavered in the face of adversity. A woman who lived her life not asking “what’s in it for me” but “how can I make something good happen for another.” Yes, certainly her delivery could often seem callous, but behind that delivery was a volition filled with only good intention. Really, someone we could all learn a few lessons from.
So, during the funeral, my friend Mark chose to get up in front of the congregation to speak a little bit about his mom. He started out with a little humor, but then gave one of the most amazing and inspiring pieces of oratory goodness that I had ever heard. Its simplicity was the magnificence of its brilliance. He told everyone (I am paraphrasing here, as I could only wish I had been recording it but this is what i got from it), that the greatness of his mom was very simple and that he wanted to share it with us and that it was going to save us a lot of money. He said that we didn’t need someone like Tony Robbins, or a therapist and so on to motivate and help us through life. He said, that we only need to encompass our lives with one simple phrase….SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN (of course, when he says make something good happen, he means for those other than yourself). Man, he said that, and I nearly lost my breath. Something super simple, yet the most powerful words I had ever heard! He went on to say that his mom never planned on doing the things she did in life, she didn’t graduate from college and have some list of things she wanted to do, a bucket list per say. He said, she would feel drawn to a cause, SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN! Whether it be a charitable cause or just going over to a person’s house that was in need and spend an hour or two with them. She would just SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN! Man, I so wanted to give a standing ovation when he was done, but I guess that didn’t seem apropos for a funeral.
Wow, SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN! This should be the new slogan for selflessness. Actually, this should just be the new slogan for Life. How much more in the moment can you get. Show up to your experience and just focus on making something good happen!! Not focused on the past or the future or the results for that matter…damn it, just SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN. I mean really, just take a few minutes and think about how this could impact your life in general. How, in your family, social and career life if you incorporated this way of life, the moment you open your eyes in the morning until the moment you close your eyes to sleep at night. Wow, how things could change for the better in all facets of life.
I want to thank my friend Mark for sharing with us his mother’s simple formula for making a difference in the lives of those she touched and in turn making a difference in the world around us! Such a special gift she has bestowed upon us all! A treasure in fact that I think could change one’s life for the better! I encourage all of you, find a way each and every day to SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN! No matter if it is at work, at school, in a social setting or at home, just do it man!! I start today, as my fingers SHOW UP on this keyboard and are MAKING SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN! Let’s spread it around!! Imagine if we could make a movement for all mankind to SHOW UP and MAKE SOMETHING GOOD HAPPEN!! Every day…..heck…every moment!! Yes, I know, quite ambitious….but hey, it can’t be any more simple than this….ya never know!!
Well, I wish much happiness and peace to you all on this journey. May you find the strength to look beyond your self and find a little selflessness and compassion towards those you touch everyday. I promise that in turn, you will experience a glimpse of true happiness in life!