“Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw
Today’s wisdom comes from Jeff Mulder:
My friend Jimmy died this morning after an 8 year battle with cancer. He was 21 years old. Jimmy’s candle was way too short, but Jimmy sure made it burn brightly in the time he had. He is one of the most influential people in my life in the last 10 years. It was his fundraising and his sister’s speech on his behalf 6 years ago that pulled me into LiveSTRONG. Today almost 100% of my free time is used helping those affected by cancer.
If one reads further into the Shaw quote above, they will find, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.” I heard this quotation about 6 years ago about the same time that I met Jimmy for the first time, and have adopted it as my personal motto. Thinking about Jimmy’s 21 years and all the people he touched, I am ashamed of all the time I have wasted.
I will miss Jimmy. I will also remember what he was able to do with his short candle. I do not know how long my candle will be, but because of Jimmy, I will make sure it burns as brightly as possible.