Six Life Philosophies from an Obituary Writer

The Boston Globe recently had a great short article about six life lessons given by Bryan Marquard, their obituary writer of over 800 obits in the past 3.5 years. His perspective was that he looked at life through the lens of death. The article ended by asking “what have you learned from life”?

I’ll summarize the article here and give a few answers for this post.

1. Be nice.
No matter what you accomplish, how you treat people has a lot to do with how you will be remembered.

2. Don’t be mean.
You can be #1 or #2 without being the other.

3. If you want to live long, retire young…
Leave some time for fun in your life.

4. Or don’t retire at all.
Pursue your passions.

5. You don’t have to be rich – or even have a home.
It’s you, what you are and what you do that matter most.

6. Act now.
Don’t put off what you’ve always wanted to do.

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I liked the article because it looks at life through a very different perspective than one that I have. It’s not that I think most people have the view of an obituary writer, but rather how much I stay away from the thought of death. I have never fully read an obituary, even of some people very dear to me. And I don’t have insurance except for where I can’t avoid it, like to drive or insurance with my job. Sure, I appreciate a health plan and such, but insurance is like a constant reminder, with payment, of unfortunate things. As someone who believes that if you think about something enough, it might just happen to you, I stay away from those negative things.

As for some of what I’ve learned from life? For starters, I’ve got 26 life philosophies through this link. But if you’re not interested, I’ll leave three different ones here:

1. Act now, enjoy the moment, but live like there is always a tomorrow.
You couldn’t hope to either truly live every day or moment like it’s the last of your life, or last long doing it.

2. It’s not how you start that matters, but rather how you finish.
Save the best for last, and something better for tomorrow.

3. Everything means more the more you had to earn it.
“Earn” is any kind of effort you have to put in.

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If you want lots of life lessons, please check out my blogging buddy’s Lifelessons4u blog. She’s got more life lessons than you could learn in a life time!

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In the spirit of how the Boston Globe article ends, please feel free to leave comments regarding

What have you learned in life?

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 4.2 (pffft! topic is a little beyond grade 4!) 🙂

3 thoughts on “Six Life Philosophies from an Obituary Writer

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