What Gets Left Behind

As my plane left the ground in Beirut I stared at the engine just outside my window and waited for it to explode sending a piece of titanium fan blade through the protective sheath of the cowling and into my face. I imagined this event, which I know intellectually is extremely unlikely to occur, as something imminent and wondered what I was leaving behind me?

I had sent a very loving message to my daughter who I dropped off at school on my way to the airport. My son had the day off so she crossed the school gates alone. I felt her vulnerability, her potential for aloneness even though her stride communicated a determination and strength that I know she possesses deep down in her bones. I told her how beautiful, intelligent, funny and loveable she was.

To my son, who was home still sleeping, I sent a short note telling him my feelings about seeing his sister alone and asking him to look after her. I told him “she needs you.” I signed off by telling him I loved him too.

My woman I had left with a final conversation in which she told me she felt loved and she felt happy about that.

So I stared at the engine and, while desiring to reach London and continue my life, strongly desiring it, I also felt that the worst-case scenario-instant obliteration by high speed Rolls Royce fragment was okay.

It also made me think again about all the time wasting we do with jobs, careers and chasing after irrelevant stuff we don’t need. What’s important is to leave behind love, to beautify one little part of existence, more if possible, and accept that it isn’t within the grasp of most people to achieve anything of greater value.

Of course to the lucky few, opportunities for vast ripples of love present themselves. How awesome that Bill Gates stopped trying to make money and dominate the world and started instead to try to do the most good for the most people. He may not have made the world’s best computer, but he is truly a role model for humanity, especially the elite of humanity who tend to be so selfish. Spread ripples of love. Try it. Make it a habit. It is rewarding, relaxing, right.

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