Smile Back

I’m sat in my office right now with two sleeping doglets. Music in the background and I’m monitoring some issues for work.

It’s quiet and peaceful and I can see a huge section of the Shropshire Hills through the windows.

It’s genuinely a good life and sometimes i think that I could happily slow down and keep slowing down. And sometimes I remember that my blood used to sing when I was younger and that I had no self-imposed limits to what I’d do if I thought something needed to be done.

Somebody that I’ve never met died at the weekend and I became a bit-player in their last act for a few weeks as the opportunity to help them and their family was placed in front of me.

It couldn’t be ignored and I never mentioned it publicly.

The man in question was a genuine one-off who influenced thousands of people, whilst upsetting quite a few others too. The world is a poorer place without him, he was a free-thinker, a good man and a good father. Word of his death would definitely trigger strong responses.

So I volunteered to do so. I have no family connection, no emotional ties and I’m not a fragile flower.

My Twitter timeline exploded for a few days, mostly from people who were upset to hear the news, along with hundreds of people sending abuse that was boring, repetitive and ultimately pointless. I wasn’t offended or bothered even once, even the worst messages were sent by people of limited or no imagination.

It did amuse me for a while and I’ve saved some of the best / worst examples for later use at some point.

And I’m glad I did it, it drew the attention away from others for a few days – while getting the news out in a controlled fashion.

But it’s made me think (again) at the nature of our time in the world and if anything it’s reinforced my view of things .

Our time here is short, there are no guarantees as to when we go – the three sisters weaving our fates won’t give us a preview.

I’ve found myself rereading ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius – Book 7 has this to say.

‘Think of yourself as already dead. You have lived your life. Now take what’s left and live it properly’

I like that idea.

He’s also quoted as saying ‘Death smiles at us all; all a man can do is smile back’

He didn’t, but it’s still good advice.

Or you can take this quote and make what you will.

Go live your life, don’t be one of the small-minded blind-hate brigade.

Smile back.