Why are you here? (HLD 88)

18 June 2020

A good friend of mine was in a car accident last week (actually two friends have been in car accidents recently! Maybe it’s me that’s the jinx….)

She was coming home from a friends place on a wet night and as her lights turned green she noticed a car approaching from the side at speed. Ricocheting off a few obstacles first, the other car hit her car side on before flipping away and over.

Long story short, her car is in a bad way, the other driver taken away by police who were very quickly at the scene, and my friend escaped without a scratch.

But she was seconds, or centimetres, away from being a road statistic.

I had breakfast with her this morning (because obviously the correct method for treating shock is bacon), and one of the first questions I had to know was “So why are you here?”.

Not on a “poor thing, you should still be at home drinking tea and eating chocolate” sort of way, but in a “You have had a near death experience – what have you taken away from this as your mandate for life going forward”???

Thankfully she got the gist of the question without me having to explain in detail what I wanted to know.

Social connection seems to be her mission going forward, both with close friends but also family, who have various needs and issues that rely on my friends help with.

Around four years ago, I heard a quote from Richard Bach, author of, among other things, “Jonathon Livingstone Seagull’. It resonated with me so much I saved it as a note on my phone (where all interesting stuff I hear ends up). The quote is (paraphrased by me) “Is your mission in life complete? If you are alive, it isn’t”.

I saved it at the time, because with an elderly parent whose world was shrinking, it was important to remind her that she still had a purpose, a mission, ahead of her. Whether it was friends she needed to keep an eye on, or putting the rubbish bin out for her (more) elderly and infirm neighbour, she had a mission and a purpose.

So I retrieved the note off my phone and passed it on to my friend this morning. As affirmation of the fact that, while her life could have been drastically and permanently altered in those seconds on a wet road on Friday night, she is left with a renewed sense of purpose going forward (and with grateful and profound thanks to whoever is looking out for her, both then and in past traumas).

Have you had a similar brush with death that’s left you with a clearly defined mission? Know of someone who has? Or do you not need to have your precious car pummelled to know where your purpose in life lies?

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