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A Life That Counts

By Steve Goodier

This is another of Steve's inspiring articles. Read on and see how reading his own obituary expanded the life of Alfred Nobel.

                    A LIFE THAT COUNTS

They said he died!

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons of destruction, awoke to read his own obituary. Of course, it was a mistake. Alfred's brother had died, and the reporter inadvertently wrote Alfred's obituary.

For the first time, Alfred Nobel saw himself as the world saw him -"the dynamite king," the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives. This, as far as the general public was concerned, was the entire purpose of his life. None of his true
intentions surfaced. Nothing was said about his work to break down the barriers that separated persons and ideas. He was, quite simply, a merchant of death, and for that alone would he be remembered.

Alfred read the obituary with horror. He felt that the world must know the true meaning and purpose of his life! He resolved to do this
through his last will and testament. The final disposition of his
fortune would show the world his life's ideals. And at that time came into being yearly prizes for chemistry, physics, medicine, literature - and the famous Nobel Peace Prize.

If you were to read your own obituary today, what would it say?  Do others know what you stand for, what you believe in and what truly matters to you?

Dr. Philip Humbert asks, "What remarkable, extraordinary and amazing things will you do with this wild and wonderful miracle, your one and only life?" The question should perhaps also be asked this way: "What will you do with this wild and wonderful miracle, your one and only
day?" For how we spend our days will decide how we spend our lives.

Chances are, you will not be reading your own obituary. But you have already begun to write it - day by day, moment by moment. Live your todays as if they truly matter, and tomorrow you will look back on a life that counted.

*From Steve Goodier's TOUCHING MOMENTS
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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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