This post is dedicated to a great, promising and talented young man, Dominic Alessandro James (26/09/1997 – 20/9/2016)
May his soul rest in peace.
Often times in my Cloud 9 moments, I tend to forget how truly short life is. I am so caught up in my day-to-day activities, so absorbed with winning at life, that often times I end up forgetting that this very life can be taken from me in a matter of seconds. I got a reminder this evening.
I was told of the passing of a young man, a team captain during a football match. Mark you, I don’t know him personally. I have heard of his talent over the years through the grapevine but never had the privilege of meeting him. But just because I didn’t know him personally doesn’t mean I can’t grieve.
Presently social media is blowing up with posts from loved ones, friends, classmates, you name it. I sat and read through each post. Though different words may have been used, there are statements that I find in all posts. Statements about his kindness, his jovial nature, his acts of teaching others the art of football and being a role model and motivator to many. And so I am touched by his death. Today, a young man who could possibly have been the next Pele, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or even the next Ronaldinho, died. A role model died. Someone lost their best friend. Many lost a teammate. A mother lost her only child. If that doesn’t strike a chord in you, then you should probably get yourself checked out.
I absolutely abhor funerals. I detest attending them because I hate having to come to terms with the fact that a family is missing a loved one and a void is created. Though no death is good, I tend to feel much better when a person of old age passes off. What really strikes me is when a young person dies. And that’s one of the reasons I am saddened by Dominic’s death. He is not simply young; he’s my age.
In my opinion, he hasn’t started living as yet. He didn’t get a chance to see the world in all its splendor. He didn’t get the opportunity to really make his name and transform the football realm. He didn’t get the opportunity to start a family of his own.
And that brings me to the meat of the matter: life is fleeting. You are here one moment and gone the next. Life is short.
In the midst of life, there is death.
Now you probably ask yourself the question: what does this mean for me? Is it that I should start planning for my death? Well, it’s always a good idea to have some plan in the event that you pass off, you would had something set aside to cover funeral expenses. However, that is but the tip of the iceberg or rather, a tiny fraction of the real matter.
Life is short, which means our time on this Earth is limited. No one knows when he will die and I wouldn’t advise you to care for that. Your true concerns really should lie in:
- When you die, what would be said about you? Could good things be said about you?
- Did you make a difference in someone’s life while here on Earth?
- Did you inspire positive change?
- Did you accomplish any goals you had set?
- Did you strive to make the world a better place in your own way?
- Did you have a good relationship with God?
- Did you leave a legacy behind?
Live each day as if it is your last. Cliche right? But it makes sense.
Be grateful for each day you are here in the land of the living. Don’t put off accomplishing your dreams for years to come. Start now because years aren’t promised to you. Treat every individual you meet as you would like to be treated. Let the people in your life that you love, appreciate and value know that you love and care for them. Try to be at peace with all men. This is sometimes difficult but try. Give everything your best. Enjoy what is around you. Don’t spend all the days of your life working, working, working and accumulating riches that you can’t use in your grave and never pausing to just breathe and have some fun. I am not saying that one should go and splurge in the name of “living in the moment” but what’s the point of dying with a bank account with millions and a passport with empty pages? Go, travel, see the world, make memories with those you love, meet new people. Go and live. Go and make a difference while you still can. Build your connection with God while you are able to.
Nothing lasts forever and none of us are making it out of here alive. So please, don’t merely exist. Live and live well.
- – N.S.H
“Football is like life. It requires perseverance, self denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority” – Vince Lombardi