In 2009, I faced a cancer scare when my doctor found a large lump on my thyroid gland. Following an inconclusive biopsy, surgery was scheduled to remove the lump and my thyroid. It is amazing how one’s perspective shifts at the thought of mortality. It was during this time, during a “what if this is it” moment that I vowed that if given a chance, I would never again take for granted each and every day I have to make an impact on the world around me. The thought of possibly losing my voice and worse, having my life cut short, with too much unfinished and without having left a legacy for my kids- I prayed for another chance at life. “Millions long for immortality yet do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon” ~ Susan Ertz.
In 2008, North Carolinian, Robin Emmons, decided to solve the problem of more than 72,000 people in her state not having access to fresh produce. She transformed her backyard into a massive garden and has now grown more than 26,000 pounds of produce. Richard Nares, having lost his son to leukemia in 2000, realized that many sick children lack transportation to get to critical medical appointments. He formed a group to help transport kids fighting cancer to treatments. These people found that life has a much bigger meaning. They found purpose.
Not every person who finds purpose need face mortality (like me), but in the hundreds of inspirational stories that I have read and that people have shared with me, there is a common denominator of suffering or need. Why is it that it took troublesome news from my doctor to wake me up? It’s not like I had been sleeping through life. I have always volunteered my time to my church, my kids’ school, and others who need my assistance, so why was this time different? I believe it boils down to complacency. Too many fall into thinking that tomorrow is a guarantee. We have bought into thinking that “today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I understand that this statement was concocted with good intentions, but what if today were the only day? I’m proposing today is NOT the first day of the rest of your life. Yesterday is a canceled check. Tomorrow is simply a promissory note.
What is it that you see in the world that tears at your heart? What can you do? For me, I had another chance, a chance to be a voice for those without a voice and for those who simply need to hear word of encouragement. Today is the cash in your hand… spend it wisely.
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.