Looking back at my life from the 57-year vantage point, some things have become more clear. One is that time goes really, really fast–like a bullet. I know everything is speeded up now, but I think our human lives have always seemed short, especially when the call to cross-over suddenly shows up. No matter how we’ve lived, what we’ve given or what we’ve taken, there simply are not enough days.

Life really is SCHOOL yet no matter how much education we get, toward the end, we’re not asking ourselves questions about degrees and doctorates. We’re asking about how we lived: Did I make any difference? Will I be remembered? Did I keep my promises to my loved ones?  Did I treat others with the respect all people are due? Did I tell those I hurt how deeply sorry I am? Did I forgive those who hurt me? What impressions will I take with me?

Something else is clear: Being caught up in the whirlwind of production, activity, accumulation—all that stuff—isn’t what’s important. What’s important is getting to an inner place that’s like a mountaintop, and peering down at the broad expanse of the valley below and really seeing what’s going on. Do I know who I am, where I came from, why I’m here? Do those people down there know who they are, where they came from and why they’re there? Can I help? What makes time valuable? Is it expertise–or is it the art of living?

Maybe someday, together, we’ll work our dilemmas out, we’ll figure out how to live more meaningfully, with an eye for compassion, a touch for healing, voices raised in blessing-words of kindness.

We have so much power within us to do so much good; this is what unites us as human beings. Of course, none of us can be shoved or dragged into a higher expression of life on Mother Earth. We must choose to ask those important questions, to seek the answers, and to live as though our real lives depended on it.