Friday, August 01, 2008

The Great Equalizer

I thought of my father’s life while visiting his grave. I could not help but compare it to that of the man buried only a few feet away from him. Like my Dad, he started life filled with so much promise. But that is the farthest their parallels could go.

This man went on to make millions while still in his thirties. In his forties, life continued to smile at him. Life was good until it was snuffed out.

My Dad reached his plateau early on. At some point after that, it became a downhill struggle for him. He experienced some brief highs along the way, like the quite joys only love and family could bring, delights that no amount of poverty could take away. But he still died a broken man.

Two lives so vastly different from the other. Yet here, at the end of their day, they lay almost side by side, all differences and barriers gone.

Then it hit me. I always thought I knew how, beneath our skin, we are all the same … but during that quiet morning, I came to truly understand.

All we have in this life, everything about us … wealth, title, beauty, fame, achievements, talents, profession … everything that distinguish us from others … everything that held us above the rest … or simply made us better one way or another … are all stripped away when we leave this life.

Under the ground, we become equals with the poorest of the poor, even the lowest of the low.

I was brought me to my knees. I was humbled.

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