It felt that the whole world was in shock earlier this week when basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a tragic helicopter crash. It was tragic news for his millions of fans, but made even more tragic that his 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also on board. No one survived the helicopter crash, which was also carrying other children and parents on their way to a basketball game. How heartbreaking to hear about so many lives lost far too soon.
The death of a celebrity so young always tends to remind us of how short life really is. We can to go about life without really thinking about the reality of this until tragedy strikes. We get immersed in stress, anxiety and fear of life, worrying about things that don’t really matter or not doing what we want to because we’re scared.
Many people will only know Kobe as a basketball player, but he was someone who was always learning, growing, teaching and working to become a better person. He was flawed, there is no doubt, but in his death we can learn the lessons of his life. He had a intense work effort which earned him a lot of respect as a sportsman. He also worked hard to be a good dad to his girls. He used his voice to make political statements and see other people’s voices be heard. He supported those from low incomes in their education. As he got older, he valued his family above all else and loved that he got to spend more time with them since he retired.
As tributes poured in, many who knew him said that he lived by the mantra that life is short.
“He constantly said life is short, so I have re-worded my whole vernacular. I don’t speak in bad thoughts. I won’t deal in the belly of negativity.” – John Salley, NBA Star.
In his death, we can learn to live life to the full ourselves. It shouldn’t take tragic deaths, whether it’s a famous person or someone close to us, to realise this but often its what makes us wake up and see life for what it really is. Something to be enjoyed and embraced. So, remember that life is too short, and re-prioritise your life based on what really matters:
- Make sure you tell your family and your friends that you love them
- Work hard
- Pursue what your passionate about
- Be fearless
- Don’t get too hung up on what people say about you
- Be with people that love you
- Live your life to the fullest. Don’t just celebrate life on your birthdays, celebrate it every day
- Help others
- Enjoy the small things in life
- Do things outside your comfort zone – don’t let fear hold you back!
- Keep a smile on your face as much as you can.
In the words of Kobe Bryant himself:
“Have a good time, enjoy life. Life is too short to get bogged down and discouraged. You have to keep moving, you have to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, smile and just keep rolling. So, as you get older you realise that that’s what it’s really about. It’s about how you reach people, how you connect with people, how you can make the world a better place one person at a time.”