A friend once posed the bizarre but intriguing question, “what would happen if funerals had the same status as sex in our society?” – ie., we were as obsessed with funerals as with sex. Magazine covers would feature gossipy photos of coffins. Our swear words would relate to death. People fantasized about various ways of dying.
The fact is, of course, that our culture minimizes all thoughts of our mortality – almost in inverse extreme to our obsession with sex.
What does this have to do with our money?
Well, as Steven Covey asks in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, if we were an observer at our own funeral, or celebration of life, what would we want to be known for? How would we want to have lived? Spent our time?
And I would include, “how would we want to have stewarded our money?” “How would we have wanted to spend it?” “What are our must deeply held values, and how linked are they to our wallets?”
On the weekend that includes Remembrance Day – remembering people who have died in wars past, leaving a legacy of free countries – we could, perhaps, take a moment to ‘remember ourselves’ and reflect on the brevity of our own lives. Then ask ourselves, In light of that, how do I want to live? How do I want to spend? What legacy do I want to leave?