Living on through selfless acts

I ran across a great quote in an audiobook I just finished reading – I listen to books during my long runs. The fiction book, The Flight Attendant –  by Chris Bohjalian – was a good read but hardly a book where I expected to find such a gem of a quote:

“Supposedly, whatever we do that’s selfish goes with us to the grave; whatever we do that’s selfless lives on.”

Photo by Felix Mittermeier

What a fabulous quote that cuts to the essence of the virtues of service without being preachy. It certainly forced me to ask myself “What am I doing that will live on after me; after my physical body returns to dust?” I immediately thought how living large, living with a big carbon footprint, constantly wanting and reaching for more, and regularly spending lavishly on myself is exactly the sort of thing that will accompany my lifeless body to the grave. On the other hand, if I live smaller, and work harder to minimize my carbon footprint while maximizing my service to others, there will be much to live on after me; after my body returns to dust.

The worst devastation caused by climate change will happen after we are gone. What better way is there to ensure a piece of ourselves continues to live on after our souls have moved onto the afterlife than to work on climate action and justice today.

Working together, we can help take care of our common home.  

Paul Litwin

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