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As I add another year to my life today, I am still left speechless by the loss of two amazing young men that were suddenly taken away from us. Even through their death, they are still impacting lives. Needless to say of one of the world’s greatest leaders, #Madiba, who also continues to impact lives of many across the globe even while he lays to rest. All this leaves me wondering, how did they do it? How is it that even as they’ve passed on, they are still touching my life and many other lives, and making a difference. I am asking myself, what is it about them that has made them stand out in life and in death? I am meant to believe that they found themselves, they found their purpose in life, and they chose to live that purpose without looking at what others were doing. I want to believe that they chose to live authentic lives; being true to themselves and to what they believed in, whether they failed or not.

It is very easy for me to dwell on the sadness of losing friends and a great leader, but I know that no matter how sad I get, they won’t come back. I however have an opportunity, to look back at their lives and learn from them, to celebrate their service to mankind, to aspire to be of service and to leave my own legacy. Loss of loved ones is never easy to deal with, never easy to get past it, but even in that struggle, I feel and know that there is room and space for me to pause and learn from the lives of those that I’ve lost, and to even be thankful for their lives.

So today, as my heart goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one, who is feeling the pain of parting with them, I say to myself, I am still alive, maybe just for another day or two, or years, or just this hour, what is my life worth? Why am I here on earth and what am I doing about it? If this is the only hour I’m left with, what will I leave behind? Would it be friends and family who would say I loved or I didn’t care about them? Would it be colleagues who would say she was hardworking and inspiring, or was always complaining and demotivating others? Would it be my neighbors who would say she was thoughtful or selfish? Would it be my church, my associations, that would say she was of great service, or was just a burden to others?

My life is and will never be like that of Nelson Mandela, or my friends Lusayo Mhango and Wanangwa Sanga, but they have played their part in this world, they have lived their purpose. The question is, am I living mine? I pause to reflect today, on my life and on why I am here. I will not beat myself for not being like these guys, but I want to live my life as I should, be content, grateful, loving, forgiving, caring, kind, and celebrating this gift of life here on earth while I still live.

I invite you to ask yourselves today, ‘what am I doing on this planet earth and why?’ ‘What will it all amount to and for who?’ I urge you to start searching and reflecting on your life, without comparing it to others, as we are all unique human beings with unique purposes on this earth. Begin to ask yourselves these questions that may at times seem hard to answer or daunting, but it’s only when you start asking, that you begin to soul-search, and eventually find yourself putting a finger on your life purpose. Life can be short for some, and long for others, but we each have a purpose to live out, whether we only live for a day, or a week, or months or years, because we were created for a reason.  So I choose to search, until I find that reason and live by it. And here is Beyoncé’s song lyrics that remind me to live for a reason each day:

“I wanna leave my footprints 0n the sands of time

Know there was something that I left behind

When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets

Leave something to remember, so they won’t forget

I was here, I lived, I loved, I was here

I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted

And it was more than I thought it would be

I will leave my mark so everyone will know

I was here

I want to say I lived each day, until I die

And know that I meant something in somebody’s life

The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave

That I made a difference and this world will see

I was here…”

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