Nothing Is Certain In Life

Eugene O'Kelly died last September. Who was he? When he died, he was the CEO of KPMG, a US$4 billion company with 20,000 employees and one of America's and in fact the World's Big 4 accounting firms. He enjoyed great power and was held in great respect and prestige. He was told by his doctor in May 2005 that he had brain cancer and will not live to make it to September. During the 100 days he had left, he decided to write a book. In his book "Chasing Daylight" (Publisher McGraw-Hill, 2006) he described the last days of his life. He said that during the first decade of his working life climbing up the ladder at KPMG, he and his wife rarely took a vacation. During the last decade, he only managed to have 2 workday lunches with his wife. Imagine that. His committments in his diary is at least a year ahead. But all that stopped when the doctor told him the news.

There are two things we can take here. The first is not to take life for granted. Take your loved ones out. Enjoy life. I remembered one email which made the circulation sometime last year about a man who went through his recently deceased wife's clothings and spotted some new clothes she bought but never wore. She told him that she was waiting for the right occassion. Now that she has gone, that occassion will never come. Don't put things off - wear your new clothes, go on holiday, kiss your loved ones, tell them you love them because you don't know whether you will be able to do all those things and to say those words to them.

The second thing is that death is something we can never put off. It has been said that nothing is certain in life, except death. We don't know when it will come. When it's time for you to go, it's time for you to go. We have known friends who are fit and we are surprised to see them go so 'young'. I just hope that we are prepared to face it. Eugene O'Kelly was in a way luckier. He knew he had about 3 months left. He knew what he had to do in that 3 months. That luxury is something for most of us that we can never have. We should not take life for granted. We go to bed at night expecting we will wake up tomorrow. We go to work in the morning expecting that we will return home in the evening. We fly out from Brunei expecting we will be flying back. We cannot and we should not take life for granted.

According to Ibnu Asahin, Prophet Muhammad SAW once stated: "Berusahalah untuk duniamu seolah-olah kamu akan hidup selama-lamanya dan berusahalah untuk Akhiratmu seolah-olah kamu akan mati esok hari" loosely translated "work hard for your worldly being as if you are going to live forever and work hard for your hereafter as if you will die tommorrow". You have to be balanced - be prepared for your hereafter too as well as for your current life. That means not only you have to work hard and presumably accumulate your wealth for your worldly needs but you also have to be prepared for your hereafter by doing good deeds, your prayers, making sure your family is taken care for, your children brought up right so they can at least pray for you and the list goes on; and all because you don't know when you will go. I leave you with that thought.


Anonymous said…
i love your make me humble again...hope i can read some more of your work

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