11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying. – Unknown
Interestingly, it harkens back to tip # 6 about smiles and smiling. I think it also borrows from tip # 7, since you get to the end of life with a smile, not by holding back; but, rather by doing. The smile on your face is because you don’t have a bucket list, you have a list of things accomplished in life.
I suspect that the Irish have the right idea about funerals in their concept of a wake – a celebration of the life of the deceased. After all, that person is now in the only place where he/she will live forever – in our memories. So, why not celebrate those memories and have a good laugh about those times, rather than a tear.
I would add to the advice of our hint some of these quotes –
“There isn’t so much to be afraid of, out there. I can remember thinking it was funny to find that out, on the last night of my life; I’d spent the rest of it being afraid of everything.”
― Nick Hornby
“When the time comes for you to leave this earth, if it doesn’t become a lesser place with your absence, then you have wasted your life.”
― Shaun Hick
So, this hint is really more about advice to the living than end-game advice to the dying. Don’t waste your life and don’t be afraid of everything. Remember that a life given in service to others is one that will never be forgotten. Having said that, it is important to note that a life given in service does not always mean that you have to drop everything, sell everything and abandon everything and run off to some foreign land to serve soup to the poor. Sometimes we get hung up on what how we can serve others or how much. We get worried that our little daily acts of service don’t each have much impact. I would offer this quote –
“The goodness of the world in which we live is the accumulated goodness of many small and seemingly inconsequential acts.” ― Gorden B Hinckley
Do what you can, where you can and when you can to serve the needs of others. Some days that might involve doing big things and on others it might just mean making a kind gesture to someone who just needs encouragement. The idea is to get out of your self-centered mode of living and recognize and act upon the needs of those around you.
Finally, here’s my own personal Bonus Hint – Hint # 12 –
For a long and happy life, exercise three things daily – your body, your mind and your faith. Have a great life!