You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
William W. Purkey
The Italian newlywed who died this weekend in the Venice Beach tragedy had every right to expect to have a frolicking, joyful day at the beach. I have a friend who was also there that day, about 100 yards from where the killer driver struck. My friend was already someone who humbly and joyously lived each day from a place of gratitude. She didn't need a reminder to be grateful for her life, but she got a big one.
I think most people take these tragedies as reminders of how fragile life is. We thank our lucky stars and acknowledge how fleeting this life is. We are humbled even if only for a short time.
Sometimes the reminders come in more regularly than others. I am only two degrees separated from three people who have ended their own lives in the last year. Lately the news is littered with reports of plane and train tragedies. So very many gone far too soon. We never know when a night at the movies, a day at work, or even a day at school will be our last.
We could easily take all these events as an excuse to hide out and live in fear, or we could powerfully choose to heed the words of William W. Purkey's dictum and live out loud.
Thank God some people do live a Purkey life. And, thank God there are filmmakers like Yoeslan Alfaro who capture people dancing in their back seats like nobody is watching.
I'm going to let this woman busting a move in the back seat of a car to remind me to dance, love, sing and live with as much gusto as possible. She is trumpeting a call to action: honor those that we lost too soon -- whether at the hand of another or at their own hand.
The best thing we can do to protect ourselves from a lost life is to live each day fully. Let's not lose our lives little by little each day due to fear. Let's live with as much courage and gusto as we can to honor this short life, and have the music playing whenever possible. You never know when you'll need to bust a move.
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