“Life is for the Living.”

These are the words Dr. Calvin Mackie spoke to me in the Fort Lauderdale airport, as we engaged in a brief conversation over a slice of pizza.  My very first time meeting Dr. Mackie was in 2006, when he visited Flint, MI to provide a keynote address during a community forum.  It was then that I developed an appreciation for his public speaking and his ability to deliver an inspiring, encouraging, and life changing message.  Traveling back home from Florida, through all of the hustle and bustle in the airport, I bumped into Dr. Mackie in the gift shop as I was purchasing some last-minute souvenirs.  After introducing myself, he and I began to engage in dialogue for about an hour or so.  A ‘power hour’ is how I would describe it looking back.

Over a slice of pizza from Sbarro, he and I talked about life, learning, and how being able to think – creatively, intentionally, and strategically can change your life.  Furthermore, how the person that out thinks you has the potential to rule you.  Throughout our conversation, Dr. Mackie empowered me tremendously, imparting wisdom on so many things.  One ‘nugget’, however, that has stuck with me from our conversation is that: “Life is for the Living.”  This hit me like a ton of bricks! 

These five words may appear simple, but many of us don’t truly embrace this concept.  Many of us wake up every day and just go through the motions, letting life pass us by.  God has given us life so that each day we are blessed to wake up; we can take full advantage of the opportunities that are there for us.  One of the saddest things that can happen to a human being is to be buried at an old age, but to have truly died (within) long before our burial.  I truly thank Dr. Mackie for sharing his time, talent and mental treasure.  Moreover, I am now convinced that we should not focus on whether or not we will die, when, or how it will happen.  The question I submit is, who will we be in the meantime?

With God, nothing is impossible…

© David McGhee


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