What constitutes a well-lived life?

As I sat today during the funeral of a friend’s mother I pondered this question.

Is it simply achieving great age?

Is it leaving behind many who loved you?

What about the joy and love and laughter you shared?

What about the things you built – from great to small?

What does the work you did count in this assessment?

What about contributions to the common good?

And what of those who quietly live and die quietly?

No simple answers readily come to mind. Still pondering what constitutes a well lived life.

Positive thinking versus positive action

There is a difference between merely engaging in positive thinking and undertaking positive action. On its own thinking is merely an interior act, and only when connected to positive actions does it create new realities.

Look at issues like slavery, women’s rights, democracy. Changes in each of these were fueled by anger channeled towards action that led to change. I like to call this productive anger. It’s not about rage, rather it’s about what some might call ‘righteous anger’.

Productive anger that generates positive action has led to great changes in world.

I suppose it’s what you do with the positive thoughts that matters more than merely thinking them. One of my old school mottos was:

In deed not word
1 John 3:18

And a famous slogan of the Suffragette movement was:

“‘Deeds, not words’, was to be our permanent motto,”