Playing The Cards We’re Dealt

We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” ~ Randy Pausch
Discarded Playing Cards, Paul Street, Stratford 06-05-2006Photo credit: DG Jones

Two weeks ago, I attended two funerals for two young friends under the age of 34. Both gentlemen passed away suddenly and left behind many broken hearts and dear friends. They lived completely different lives but left the same lesson—life is about choices.

You’ve heard the clichéd expression that life is a rollercoaster. Life gives you lemons. Life is like a box of chocolates, and on and on. Well, it’s true. Life truly is an unpredictable journey. One minute we’re caught up in work drama, the latest hair style, and laughing about reality TV. The next minute, the stop sign flashes red, and we’re facing life-changing challenges, all based on the cards we’re dealt.

You may have different beliefs, and that’s fine. In the crazy little world within my head, I picture angels—wise, cunning beings that are either good or bad–surrounded around a card table. One plucks a card and deals your faith. We can either choose to push through obstacles (with lots of prayers) or fall, arms outstretched, into a path of destruction.

Our choices aren’t always perfect, but our best bet would be to think about what we want to leave behind. Yes, this is the Oprah moment. Seriously, this lesson was driven home the moment after I left one of the funerals. I strolled away with my SO (significant other) in hand and smiled. This was the very first time I’ve ever felt happy after a funeral. I felt good because of the mark this young man left. It was evident by the words that were spoken of him and attendance of young boys in which he coached and hundreds of friends and family members who all spoke well of him. In the brief time that I knew him, I already knew that he was a good person. How many people can you say that about?

It’s all about these moments, your legacy. Make the best choices that you can while you’re given the opportunity and time to do so. Roll the dice when you need to. Fold or pass whenever you feel it’s right. Do not cheat. Keep a poker face when needed rather than being overpowered by emotions. Play by some rules while breaking others. Know it’s okay to lose and celebrate winning. Most of all, don’t just be … live.

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