With the senseless, ruthless killing of Jo Cox, 41, MP, mother of two yesterday in West Yorkshire, I am given to pause once more on what the shortness of life means. We talk glibly about how “life is short” when we need to make a mundane decision about a purchase, a romance, a holiday booking. Using it as a catalyst or excuse to propel ourselves forward, or make certain choices. Sometimes it carries more weight, in that it can prise us out of a situation in which we are rigidly bored, or numbingly unfulfilled.
The realisation we may be wasting precious hours, days, months, years of our short life on people, causes, jobs, and goals that turn out to be meaningless, frustrating, and unsuitable is a good thing. It gives us the chance to re-evaluate what’s important, and what we can change to improve how we live our short lives. And what contribution we can make to humanity and the planet, however that manifests.
From what I’ve read in the press outpourings about Jo Cox (whose name I didn’t know until her murder), she made every minute of her short life count. She was passionate about her work, and active in rallying support for vital humanitarian causes. A subject close to my heart. One day a week, I volunteer with The British Red Cross in their Refugee Support Service, and even though my contribution feels like a drop in the ocean, I make every minute count too. The shortness of life seems to slow down in those few hours when I can tangibly make a difference to people whose vulnerability is palpable and survivor spirit inspiring.
I hope Jo Cox’s meaningful legacy continues. However short her life, she gave it her all.
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© Amanda Yensa Manor 2016