No. 1239



The other day a lady who reads my column said something that really got me to thinking. She said, “Your columns are too deep for me.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I have never seen my writing as too deep for anyone, but perhaps there are some readers who, from time to time, miss the point of what I am trying to get across.
Of course, you know the three rules of communication are: be clear, be clear and be clear. There are some of my columns that require a good deal of research and contain facts and statistics that may be foreign to the thinking of some people, because we all have our own frame of reference. Anyway, if I have ever left you in the dark, it’s my fault; please accept my apologies.
There is another aspect of writing columns that occasionally enters the picture. Many subjects are of a serious and far-reaching nature that must be documented and have evidence that confirms what a writer is saying is true, at least reported and backed up by some reliable person or organization. Then there are other subjects that are more subjective and contain the writer’s own views and attitudes. It’s hard to argue with someone who says, “This happened to me.” What I want to present for your thinking today is of the latter nature.
I would like to begin with this simple question: Are you wasting your life? This question really strikes at the very heart of who we are as people. It’s not for me or anyone else to say if you are wasting your life, but what is really important is if you are happy with your life. A friend recently sent me a quotation that hits the nail on the head. This quotation by James Van Praagh goes, “We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.”
This quote was followed by a Question of the Week: If you could trade places with one person for a week, who would it be? Now, you think about that. Does anyone come to mind? Is there some person who is living such a rewarding, fulfilling and happy life – maybe with a lot of money or talent, or a lofty position in society – who you would like to trade places with for just one week? Anyone come to mind?
For me personally, I can honestly say that there is no person on earth that I would like to trade places with for any length of time. The reason I would not want to trade places with anyone else is because I think I am the most blessed person on earth. I cannot say that this has always been the case. Over the past several years of my life, the life I have built has been the result of hard work, having a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and a number of meaningful causes that provide all the satisfaction for which any person could ever hope. For the past 15 years our bookcase project (and I have had tremendous help) has been so rewarding -- just knowing we are making a difference in the lives of many, many precious children.
When it comes to whether or not we are wasting our lives, a quotation by William James, the father of modern psychology, has tremendous merit. “The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.” You may disagree, but to my way of thinking, a person is wasting their life if all they are doing is taking care of their own needs to eat, drink and be merry. The most rewarding thing we can do is what we do for others, what we leave behind when we are dead and gone. We only have one chance, so let’s do it right the first time.
(Editor’s Note: JIM DAVIDSON is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states, making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)