Before I Die

Before I Die

Cast in the shadow of Europe's Babel Tower, London's Shard, the face of two terraced buildings had been transformed into one giant blackboard with the provocatively stencilled words, Before I Die" gleaming out of a dark void. Underneath the statement scores of people articulated their aspirations some flipantly, others with erudite attention.."eradicate greed from the city", "see a double rainbow", "deliberately and nonchalantly s!*t myself in a meeting."

The responses tickled my sensibilities on my march to the 9-5, and left me wondering what my own scrawl would be. Could I sum it up in one statement, I mean if I met Mr Death (the Joe Black variety) prematurely what would my elevator pitch be to afford me a little extra time? Some might call it a bucket list and itemise their list of wants...'bathe under a Tahitian waterfall, become a space traveller, party with Farrell, road trip the Gumball Rally in a Lamborghini Gallardo.' Moments of sheer elation I'm sure.

I unconsciously buried the thought and carried on regardless walking past the installation day after day. The thought pierced like a splinter, niggly and annoying. Later that week I was pierced by another story on CNN, capturing the life of a high caste Bramin Chef, Narayanan Krishnan who'd recognised the destitution in his own village, people starving physically and emotionally, broken by poverty. Moved by compassion he discovered what he called the 'Joy of Giving' and devoted his life to feeding and caring for the 'Untouchables'.

Before i die photo

Questioning the ultimate purpose of life he found the answer in 'giving' or as he puts it, Start giving and discover the joy of giving. Acting beyond himself he's leaving a legacy that will echo in eternity. For the destitute families Narayanan Krishnan's name and actions will be remembered for generations. Maybe a more meaningful response to the statement, Before I Die can be found in his discovery. Oh well, looks like the Gumball Rally is on the back burner.

Before I Die...[it's time for you to fill in the blanks]


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