In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you. – Buddhist saying
What does that mean?
As far as anyone can tell, this is a fake quote, modified from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.” But despite the lack of pedigree, it is an interesting quote.
The first part is about how much you loved. Not like Casanova, but how much you love you had in your heart, and how much you gave freely to others. This includes all the flavors of love, all the way down to the smallest acts of kindness.
The second is about how gently you lived. Did you run around like a Monster Movie creature, leaving a path of destruction in your wake? Or were you able to leave a path of kindness behind you?
The final part is about how you reacted to that which you could not keep. How did you let go of friends or lovers? Business deals or your favorite pair of jeans? These ave all been tests. How did you fare?
Why is having character important?
To me, this quote is about your character. How well do you treat people? Did you show respect to others and to property? What did you do when you couldn’t hold on to something? Your reaction to these situations are a part of your character, and the answers to these questions say a lot about you.
This quote is about how you lived your life, as the quote starts with the premise of your demise. At the moment, I would imagine all the readers are still alive, and can change their path. It is never too late, so long as you’re breathing. Change can be difficult but it will happen, if we want truly desire it and are willing to work for it.
Consider people who you would place in a category of having poor character. How would you rate them on these three points? How would you rate yourself on these same points? Also consider how others would rate you on these, and other points. Not everyone values love or living gently as valuable. Do you?
The point is that there is always time to make changes to your attitudes and actions. There is time to rebuild your character, if you are willing to put forth the effort. People are complex, but are often boiled down to the perception of their character. Having it is important. Regaining it is difficult. My advice is to start early, and work hard.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Let’s start by acknowledging that the three points, while important to many, are arbitrary. They might not fit your culture, nor be applicable to what you do in life. But what is important is that you know where you stand, and that others know what you stand for, and what you stand against.
Does your character include honor? What do you honor, and how is honorable behavior defined? Many great things have been done under that banner. And so have many terrible things. Which is which very much depends on how it is defined, and what is expected of those who would maintain it.
What other aspects does your definition of character include? How are those aspects influenced by your family, your personal history, and the values of your society? Would your definition of character match that of someone from a different culture or a different part of the world?
While some of the basics may be the same, it is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Each person is different. Not everyone values the same things that their society does. They might even disagree with their family about what is important. Generations might hold different things as valuable or as useless.
As we get older, we tend to change our values. What was once very valuable may become much less so. Consider how the character of a man may change on becoming married. The value of prowess and promiscuity becomes a negative where it might have been a positive. And that’s not the only thing which can change our values.
Other life events can cause us to reconsider what we believe is of value and what is not. The arrival of a child will cause a great deal of thought, from what is valuable to what needs to be picked up off the floor. Other events might include the loss of a friend or loved one. That can help put your life and values in very sharp focus.
In the end, it’s up to you to become the person you believe you should be. No one else can do that for you. You must consider what you wish to be known for, and work towards that ideal. My only advice would be to consider where you might be in a few years, and see how much you might have to change later in life.
It’s easy to say that you have always had character. But how much has it changed, and how much have you changed, over the years? What would you do differently if you could see more clearly where you might be in a few years? How does that apply to your present values?
Life is complex and ever changing. Your character is your brand, your mark on the world. Will it be one of pride, or one of shame? Will you boast of what you used to do, or make excuses not to discuss it? Decide now, and sae yourself later. Or not. It’s your life to live.
From: Twitter, @Randy_Couture
confirmed at : https://www.goodreads.com/…/in-the-end-only-three-things-matter…
Photo by Adrian Serghie