The recent deaths of Rotorua's high-profile James Dodds and Patrick Avery has made me think about the importance of not taking life for granted and how life can be short.
I never met Patrick but I have met his older brother Clinton, his sister Monique and his mother Maryann, and my condolences go out to them at this very sad time. Mrs Avery came to a breakfast we held several years ago and you could tell she would do anything for her children. I attended the funeral of Mr Dodds and I was struck by the many people he had influenced during his 30 years of life.
Both of these men did what they loved to do which was either mountainbiking or cycling or both.
Their deaths made me think of the importance of making each day count and the importance I place on things that are, in fact, quite trivial.
It has also made me stop and think about what's important in life and why I do the things I do.
There is a clip doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment entitled "What if money didn't matter". It has a guy narrating a piece about the importance of doing what you want to do in life and not necessarily focusing on the money.
One of the quotes with the most impact reads "If you say that getting the money is the most important thing you'll spend your life completely wasting your time. You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living - that is to go on doing the things you don't like doing - which is stupid."
So if we can learn anything from the short lives of Mr Dodds and Mr Avery, isn't it about making each day count, having a positive influence on people's lives and having a life that we actually enjoy?
What do you think?
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