|Mortality and the Good Life

Sean O’Neill is the brother of rock-climber and adventurer Timmy O’Neill. Despite paralysis in Sean’s legs, the two recently attempted to climb a significant wall in Yosemite. You can learn about their experience in the short video Pull. In that video, Sean reflects on the window that his paralysis has opened for him. “I do see a more positive side of a lot of people. People see me; it brings out their own mortality. So it’s been kind of a gift to see such a nice side of people all the time.” 

When aware of life’s trajectory, people are kinder.

The Psalms also highlight the connection between wisdom and an awareness of one’s mortality. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). When I’m mindful of the transitory reality of life, I’m pushed to reflect on how to make my life count or how to live well, and much of living well is living well for others–empathy, compassion, solidarity, community.

Whether we are 15, 45 or 75 years of age, wisdom calls us to use the awareness of life’s passing seasons to reflect on how to make the most of our days and on how to write a good chapter today for my life’s book. To that end, here are two links that while aimed at different age groups are worth considering by people at any stage of life:

BONUS: If you still have some free time, here are two other articles that speak to me about the “good life.”


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