What does it matter?
It wasn’t that long ago that I joined a number of other members of various equine organizations in a conference at Black Beauty Ranch. Being around them, listening to them and feeling their energy provided mountains of inspiration that I carried back here to the ranch. I love being around people that do things instead of talk about it, that give of themselves without reservation, that build instead of tear down. They love life, they wrap it around themselves like a flowing robe, caressing each sweet emotion, knowing that each moment is precious.
I brag about the people at our ranch who stay on the job for minimal pay because they see the beauty of saving horses and making them whole again. I love the volunteers who spend hours with a single horse because they want that horse to know the love of another living being. The supporters that give their dollars to what we do could well spend that money on a thousand other things, but they give because they listen to their hearts.
The mentality of those that have devoted their life to killing horses for fun and profit is the polar opposite of those who surround me on a daily basis. We each glare at one another, neither one understanding what motivates the other, neither really wanting to even pretend that the words spouted by the other brings anything worthwhile to the table.
I didn’t write these last words, but I treasure them. I doubt that these words will ever touch those who see horses as nothing more than meat, but I wish they would. I truly wish I could reach into the heart of each horse killer, of each politician who votes for supporting horse slaughter, of each truck driver that hauls horses to the border. I would ask them to listen, for just a moment and reflect on the true value of their life.
What does it matter?
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or
sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will
feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
Habitat for Horses is always on the lookout for a few great people at our ranches. The work is unique, the animals are special and we want folks who both know and understand the special connection our animals need.