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Be a Living Eulogy


Mid-2022 is upon us. No matter how the year is going, there are things to appreciate in our lives. My youngest son is graduating high school in a few days. Being the parent of children who loves sports, I am sad about the next season in my life without the constant pull of one sport or another. Friday night lights will not be the same this fall. However, I am thankful for the precious memories.

No matter how 2022 impacted you, it is not over. Whether it brought you the birth of a new family member or the passing of a loved one, the rest of the year is upon us. We can choose to look backward or forward. I can be sad about the past, or I can look forward to the next season in my life without youth sports. We like to cling to the past and the nostalgia accompanying those memories. The following story by Dr. Wilson provides perspective. You can find a link to his ministry at

[Don't Cling to the Firewood

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

They're just a young couple, I can tell. These mice who have taken residence in the woodpile are just starting in life. They've built a nest under the pile of oak firewood I am loading into the back of our station wagon.

We had our first frost a few days ago and had spent several days winterizing our house. So had this mouse couple. At the bottom of the woodpile, their nest would be dry and warm in all but the wettest of storms, ready for the young ones that would surely be coming soon.

These are tiny mice, equipped with miniature jumping legs, their little bodies only 2-1/2 inches long -- if you don't count the tail. I must seem like a huge giant as I deconstruct their carefully built lives, one log at a time.

 They are such cute little creatures, so hopeful for the future yet filled with terror at what is happening to them.

"What's going on, dear?" the mouse bride cries.

"I don't know," her mouse husband answers. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."

He's wrong, of course. Change happens -- frequently. But, thankfully, it's not too often that our entire lives are altered forever by external events.

You've had some of those turns, too.

  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job
  • Failure of a business
  • An illness or injury

Suddenly, life is not the same and never will be again. Everything's different. And we try to cope -- sometimes in healthy ways, sometimes in self-destructive ways.

I keep loading the Firewood into the back of the wagon. I'm about to stack it higher yet when I see one of the tiny mice clinging to a piece of Firewood in the car. Another few seconds and he would get crushed. I pick him up by his long tail, set him on the ground, and go back to get more logs. When I return, he is still at the same place on the earth where I put him -- stunned by these events, barely able to get out of harm's way.

We're so mouse-like sometimes, and change requires courage, generous helpings of it. Our mouse couple looks up as their world is trembling. The logs that comprise their shelter are disappearing one by one, and soon the open sky is above. What do you do?

Do you cling to the Firewood and risk getting crushed by it? Change is a constant. No part of our lives will endure unchanged for more than a few years, a few decades. I hope that Mr. Mouse has finally got over his shock and got with the program. Older now and wiser they are.

And if I could offer just one word of advice for them and you -- and for me -- it would be this: Don't cling to the Firewood.]

You cannot change what has happened to you. You can control your response. Your last breath is not nearly as important as your next breath. Each day is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We may not always get the feedback we want or think we deserve from people around us. But if you are serving others, you are making a dent in the universe. 

I ask one favor from each of you. Be a living eulogy for others. Take time to tell people how you feel about them when it is positive. Talk about funny stories and laugh at the silliness of your time together. Even when it feels weird, tell people what you admire about them. Eulogies are wasted on the dead if we don't share our feelings with them during their life. Be the person that goes first with positive comments for others.   Always go first with positivity.

I have committed to sharing the optimistic impact others have around me. One concept is genuine, whether in my mastermind groups or in teaching sales teams. We can always make people feel good about themselves. I am not referring to insincerity or flattery. We can state what we consider to be remarkable about those we encounter.

Your positivity muscle must be flexed and worked to get stronger. Far too many people live a life of negativity and victimhood. They blame current reality on the past and become so infected with negativity that they are blind to all the beautiful things in life. If this is you or someone you care about, read the book, Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. It gives perspective on many things like detaching from unimportant things in life and appreciating the little things.

If you are clinging to old Firewood in 2022, I hope this message resonates with you. You cannot be obsessed with your problems while serving others. Serving others is the antidote to the issues in our lives. The first step is letting people know how they are positive in your life. The smallest of things often have the most significant impact. From a kind smile to a helping hand, let others know when they do something you admire or appreciate. You will get rewarded by becoming a living eulogy for those around you!