Thiel: Pay homage to those close to you while they are still here

My father taught me an exercise when I was about 20 years old.

A few weeks back, I wrote about the power of the now and the power of choice. Today’s column builds further on that point.

My father taught me an exercise when I was about 20 years old.

It was an exercise I did not do until some time later, but thought of frequently.

When I did it, I found it invaluable in adding perspective and appreciation to my life and those I love. I have tried to do it every year since.

My fathers told me “take someone you love dearly, and once a year; write a eulogy for them as if they had passed away. Do not make it all doom and gloom, rather make it what it is supposed to be…a celebration of their life and all they gave you.”

At the time it, I thought it to be a morbid exercise and not one I wanted to enter into freely. Maybe that is why I put it off, like other worth while activities.

To actually set the time aside and pay homage and due respect to someone and their life gives one a great sense of appreciation and perspective, if not a viewpoint from which to see things from a higher level away from our daily routines.

We do tend to get bogged down in our daily routines and schedules and this can make the days ‘grey into’ the next.

Get up, shower, brush your teeth, get the kids up, make breakfast and the lunches, iron your clothes, go to work, get the kids to gymnastics, tae kwon do, swimming lessons, race home, answer phone messages, read, go to bed—you know the routine.

All of this is necessary and important stuff but is it ‘meaningful?’

Tonight, turn the TV off for a night, put the kids to bed and sit down with your significant other and write each other’s eulogy, or the eulogy of someone you love.

You don’t have to share it with them. Just do it. We have all had dreams that we have lost someone and for that day, it haunts us, all the while giving us a gift of “Thank God, that was only a dream.”

For that day we will be more cognizant and mindful of that person and all they do for us. Moreover, what they make us. I will say again, this is not a doom and gloom exercise, it is one that will allow you to do and feel your love and appreciation for that which is indeed uncertain.

A eulogy is not negative, it is positive, it is not missing, it is honouring, it is not mourning, it is remembering.

Don’t take your loved one for granted. Don’t take your time together for granted.

Just for tonight, turn off the TV and tell someone how much you love and honor and admire them.

Truly, pay tribute to them as if they were gone and then, when the morning comes, roll over and kiss them good morning.