Friday Reflections – Reflecting on Resilience

Friday Reflections -Reflecting on Resilience inspired by Rugby Legend Rob Burrows.

I was reading about the tragic passing of Rugby league legend and Motor Neurone Disease (MND) campaigner Rob Burrow, who died on Sunday aged only 41. Rob had filmed a documentary ‘There’s Only One Rob Burrow’ which is yet to be released but on his passing a poignant clip was released giving his final message as follows:

“My final message to you is whatever your personal battle be brave and face it. Every single day is precious. Don’t waste a moment. In a world full of adversity we must still dare to dream.”

I thought this advice from someone who had lived through adversity was a powerful and timely reminder – don’t waste a moment.

It got me thinking about what other people have said on their deathbeds or as their final words and when I looked into it, many struck a similar theme to Rob.

The final words from American Jazz singer, Billie Holiday were “Don’t be in such a hurry.”

Even Queen Elizabeth I, who clearly lived an extremely privileged life as our head of state recognised the power of being present to the here and now when her last words were “All my possessions for a moment of time!”

Apparently, Buddha’s final advice to his followers was that “All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.” Let’s focus on the important things, not the temporary distractions and circumstances – focus on who you are being, on what you stand for, and focus on the present moment.

Danielle Bunten Berry, a revolutionary computer game designer, took a different angle which I assume was sarcasm with her final words of “Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.”

All these words reminded me of a line in a poem that I read in a church in Ireland called ‘Slow me down Lord’ the lines that has always stayed with me, but which I must strive to remember more frequently if I am to take on the advice that these amazing people wanted to pass on with their last message was “Teach me the art of taking minute vacations …. there is more to life than increasing its speed.”