No. 760



The other day a lady who reads my column said something that really has me thinking. She said, “Your columns are too deep for me.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I have never seen my writing as being too deep for anyone, but perhaps there are some readers who, from time to time, miss the point of what I am trying to get across.
Of course you know the three rules of communication are: be clear, be clear and be clear. There are some of my columns that require a good deal of research and contain facts and statistics that may be foreign to the thinking of some people, because we all have our own frame of reference. Anyway, if I have ever left you in the dark, it’s my fault; please accept my apologies.
There is another aspect of writing columns that enters the picture from time to time. Many subjects of a serious and far-reaching nature must be documented and have evidence that confirms what the writer is saying is true, at least reported and backed up by some reliable person, group or organization. Then there are other subjects that are more subjective and contain the writer’s own views and attitudes. It’s hard to argue with someone who says, “This happened to me.” What I want to present for your thinking today is of the latter nature.
I would like to begin with this simple question. Are you wasting your life? This question really strikes at the very heart of who we are as a person. It’s not for me or anyone else to say if you are wasting your life, but what is important is if you are happy with it. The other day a friend sent me a quotation that really hits the nail on the head. This quotation, by James Van Praagh goes, “We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.”
This quote was followed by a Question of the Week: If you could trade places with one person for a week, who would it be? Now, you think about that. Does anyone come to mind? Is there some person who is living such a rewarding, fulfilling and happy life -- maybe with a lot of money, or talent, or a lofty position in society -- who you would like to trade places with for just one week. Anyone come to mind? For me personally, I can honestly say that there is no person on earth that I would like to trade places with for any length of time.
The reason I would not want to trade places with anyone else is because I think I am the most blessed person on earth. I cannot say that this has always been the case. Over the past several years the life I have built has been the result of hard work, having a wonderful wife, a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and a number of meaningful causes that provides all the satisfaction that any person could ever hope for. For the past several years, our bookcase project (and I have had tremendous help) has been so rewarding just knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of many, many precious children.
When it comes to whether or not we are wasting our lives, I ran across a quotation by William James, the father of modern psychology, which has tremendous merit, “The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.”
You may disagree to my way of thinking, a person is wasting their life if all they are doing is taking care of their own needs, to eat, drink and be merry. The most rewarding things we can do are what we do for others, what we leave behind when we are dead and gone. We only have one chance, so let’s do it right the first time.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)