The Hardest Lesson
--by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (Apr 14, 2003)
The sole purpose of life is to grow. The ultimate lesson is learning how to love and be loved unconditionally. There are millions of people on Earth who are starving. There are millions who are homeless. There are millions who have AIDS. There are millions who who have been abused. There are millions of people who struggle with disabilities. Everyday someone new cries out for understanding and compassion. Listen to the sound. Hear the call as if it was beautiful music. I can assure you that the greatest rewards in your whole life will come from opening your heart to those in need. The greatest blessings always come from helping.
I truly believe that my truth is a universal one -- above all religions, economics, race and color -- shared by the common experience of life. All people come from the same source and return to the same source. We must all learn to love and be loved unconditionally. All the hardships that come to you in life, all the tribulations and nightmares, all the things you see as punishments from God, are in reality like gifts. They are an opportunity to grow, which is the sole purpose of life. [...]
It is very important that you do only what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may live in a shabby place, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days, you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.
The hardest lesson to learn is unconditional love. Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.
--Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (these were the last words she published; she's a world reknowned doctor, psychiatrist and thanatologist who spent her whole life working with the dying, children, and AIDS patients; she is also credited with bringing the hospice movement to the U.S.)