That was the first question my son asked, once the initial shock gave way to words. He had just read that Kobe Bryant had died. We know people die but for many reasons this hit hard. Yes, the tragic circumstances that led to his death played into the shock felt, but there is more. Millions believed they knew him. We watched Kobe Bryant in different phases of his personal and professional life. We saw him become an embodiment of excellence in craft, a master of discipline and focus, a ‘sweep the floor’ winner, a proud father and maturer husband; basically an invincible and idolized image for us. For the average person, people like him symbolize the alpha human, or ignite hope and inspiration as we chase our purpose. Subconsciously, they are invincible therefore when death suddenly snatches them we react to the strong reminder that there is an unwelcome guest who hasn’t, but will, visit us.
It’s a surreal moment when this guest intrudes in the affairs of humans. Its initial presence leaves a strong distaste that prevents us from seeing the gift it leaves behind in its wake. This gift is the lesson we learn at the aftermath of its presence.
Tick Tock, the clock is on
It is easy to think we have much time but the clock demands that we live our life everyday towards what matters, utilizing our gifts and talents earnestly.
Kobe Bryant’s Oscar awarded film Dear Basketball had themes like love of purpose, laser focus, action, discipline, resiliency, and self belief as the little boy Kobe worked towards a dream to become a professional basketball player. The result: an exceptional athlete, a 20 year career as a Los Angeles Laker, 5 time NBA champion, 2008 NBA most valuable player, and, off the court, a strong philanthropy record and a financial legacy for his family.
Each of us has something we should be doing, can do, aspire to do. Tick tock, the clock is on.
Live your Life
Majority of people live to please others, think too much of what other’s say, and compare themselves with others. Basically, a lot of us are living someone else’s version of ourselves, or a fantasy. Life and decisions, fear and intimidation has led to self death. The result is unhappiness, depression, confusion, discontentment, and a deep sense of loss.
Since we are facing mortality in this article, one good exercise would be to close your eyes and think of your twilight years. As you face them, will the person or opinion that currently controls your life matter? Will you think of the idea or dream or life you wanted but gave up? Kobe Bryant’s short film showed us he wanted to live a certain life, and he lived it, no matter the cost.
Which brings us to the next important lesson our intrusive visitor teaches.
What is left behind at the end of the twilight years, and taken with you at transition is you. Love you as a gift. Love the way you look, the gifts and talents you carry, the quirkiness you display, your idiosyncrasies, your drama, your laughter, your frown, your mind, Love ALL OF YOU.
Only then can you appreciate your time, live the life given to you, be grateful, unapologetic, and useful. God did not make a mistake in creating you. Love you.
Owe no one anything but love. Forgive where you have been hurt. Make your peace with God
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom,” Psalm 90:12.
So, we mourn Kobe Bryant, Giana Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, and also remember the wisdom left to the living. We try to question the question, “so what is life?”
Life is a gift, but life is finite. If all you did was live your best life for one day, then that is enough…for you.