Something I learned a long time ago teaching kids martial arts was that the best students move away. As a teacher, it sucks. We invest so much into our pupils, seeing them off is always an exercise in letting go. But good kids are usually the product of good parents who are good employees and thus getting better offers in other parts of the world. Its logical, and its ok.
Everyone you know is moving away from you. At different speeds, at different rhythms, for different reasons, with different memories of you, and its all ok.
Its arrogant to think in terms of eternity when we know so little about it. The members of the scientology priesthood called the Sea Org are famously said to sign billion year contracts. Which is probably what I signed with Verizon and how long it will take to pay off my iPhone 8. I digress.
We can’t know, its not our job to know.
But every person we have in our life is a short term experience. Maybe that term will be 30 years, maybe it will be 3 days. The beautiful thing about time and people is sometimes a person can swell in importance in your life even if you didn’t get that much time with them.
I didn’t want to write this blog because I thought the headline sounded like a bummer, but its not nearly as dark as it sounds.
When I teach kids, I never just make them stop playing before class. I give them a time frame. “guys, you have 2 minutes left to play before we start practice”. Knowing that what they are doing will end actually makes them enjoy it more. No pleasure springs eternal. No relationship goes on unbroken. The only relationship that never ends is the one we have with ourselves.
In the face of imminent death, fear of what other people think becomes a non issue. If you lived forever, the opinions of those around you would be your constant companion. But no opinion about you lasts forever, because no person lasts forever.
This should be all the impetus you need to be as much of yourself as you can be al the time, in all directions. To be as brave and as kind as you know how to be, to enjoy and savor your good and bad days because they both are what makes a complex and joyful life.
I heard one time that the best way to hold a golf club is like a bird. Firm enough to keep it safe and loose enough not to hurt it. Maybe thats how we should hold on to each other.