(#23) No Promises

I did not know Analiza Gobaton but her life had a profound impact on mine last week. Or, should I say, her death had a powerful impact.

You see, last week, Ms. Gobaton was on her way to her children’s school to attend an awards ceremony.  A mother of three; taking time to support her children. It was a beautiful spring day as she sat in traffic.  Without warning, she was caught (an innocent bystander and victim) in the middle of a reported shoot out in broad daylight. She was hit by a bullet and died a few days later in a local hospital (http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2010-10-25/story/jacksonville-mom-killed-stray-bullet-while-driving-mass-and-kids-awards).

She was in the wrong place on her way to do the right thing.

I am not sure why this story has affected me as it has.  It is one of far-too-many accounts of violence and senseless mayhem we hear of each day in the news.  Perhaps it was the randomness of the act. Maybe it was the thought of her children who will now grow up without their mother. Or it might be that her husband is now without his partner, his love.

More than anything else, the tragic act reminded me that we are not promised anything in our world.  We are not promised next year, next weekend, or the next hour.  Even if we are doing all the right things, there are no guarantees.

“OK,” you may say, “that’s pretty obvious!”  Yes it is. And sometimes the obvious is lost or forgotten in the rush of things.  We get caught up in life—and in the mean time, we forget about life. It can become easy to overlook what is important; what really matters.

In an article titled “Seize the Day,” Derek Lin (http://www.taoism.net/articles/seizeday.htm) provides a visual reminder that each day is a gift—and if we decide to misuse that gift, it is gone forever.  He uses the metaphor of a grid. Think of a piece of graph paper (something like you might use in a math class) with the numbers 1 through 12 down the left side. These represent the months of a year.  Across the top are the numbers 1 through 31; these are the days of the month.

At the end of each day, place an “X” in the box that corresponds to that day of the year.  It is a reminder that no power on earth or in heaven can give us that day back. It is gone forever.

As you place your “X” in the box tonight, ask yourself a couple of questions: “Did I use this day wisely?” “Did I make the world a better place?” “Did I move closer to a dream?”  Lin challenges his readers to ask, “How many of these grids do I have left?” 

The answer to the last question is “Nobody on earth really knows.”

© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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8 Responses to (#23) No Promises

  1. Hung says:

    It makes me feel that life is short. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, so do whatever we want to do or have to do. Tell our parents that we love them, travel to where we want to go, confess to someone we want to be with them…do it when we still have ability to, or it might be to late.


  2. Michelle J says:

    That’s why we as a people should Love while we have a chance,forgive while we have a chance,one day it will all be finished. These are not my words but a great quote from the late Bishop L.C.Callahan. Life is like a vapor. Here one minute and gone the next.


  3. Tiffany Rebant says:

    This passage really backs up how I live my life and a song that I use to get through. “Live like you are dying” this pretty much says live everyday like its your last and don’t put off things tomorrow that can be done today.


  4. Pingback: (#125) What’s Important? « Steve Piscitelli's Blog

  5. Pingback: (Issue #464) Food. Family. Farewell. | The Growth and Resilience Network®

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