Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
© 2023 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
If you’re reading this, you have time. Use it wisely. Also, use it unwisely! But by all means use it.
I celebrated my 60th birthday last week. I want to thank all of the lovely people for their kind birthday wishes. I am the luckiest man in the world. I have a wonderful partner in life in my beautiful wife, Patricia, and three lovely daughters, Elle, Miranda, and Madeline.
Turning 60 reminded me of something Dr. M. Scott Peck told me over 30 years ago: At 40, you feel like you can conquer the world, and there is a sense that nothing can stop you. But at 60, you realize the very real fragility of life and the temporariness of it all. It’s humbling to know there is indeed a time limit for all things and that God’s design, though perfect, is precious far beyond its brevity.
I am also reminded of the Hindu story that my friend Bill from Lowell, Arkansas, shared with me about a man at his funeral. “Would this man lying here ask for more riches and gold from the world? Would this man ask to be more famous and well regarded by others? Would he ask to be taller or look more handsome?”
“No. The only thing this man lying here today would ask for was much simpler: more time.”
If you are reading this now, then you, too, have time! Use it wisely. Use it unwisely, too! But use it. Be in it. Be aware that you are part of all of it and that the separateness you sometimes feel is an illusion. Just as your heart beats without being told, you are as integral to the sun that fires and the planets that circle it as your heart is to you.
For the atheists, God loves you, too. The mistake you make is to think the universe is a stupid thing that just bumps into things and expands ignorantly and without reason or intelligence. And that somehow, we human beings, with our intelligence, emerged as just some kind of freak universal accident. To you, I say: If kindness, empathy, compassion, and love exist, those things exist because you found them in other people.
As my dear friend Norm Macdonald once said, “We are part of this universe, indeed a mere fraction of it, so if we have kindness and love, how much more the universe itself.” For if we are capable of love, it is because it is endemic to the universe itself. To quote Alan Watts, “For we didn’t come 'in' to the world, we came 'out' of it. We are the universe evolving to the point of consciousness, so that the universe, us, can experience existence and life in all its wonder and beauty and glorious exuberance.”
Lastly, as I am a new convert to Catholicism, I offer my apology for my lack of Christ’s forgiveness to my fellow man. I was so angry at the people who shut down schools — who shut down the world! — and who coerced others to do things against their will, which hurt many people deeply. I offer my unconditional forgiveness and amnesty.
How can I stay mad at the famous singer who would not let others into his Broadway show unless they had an experiential jab? I will never forget how kind he was to me and my friends when he was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.”
How can I continue to hold a grudge against the actor who shamed people like me but who has been such a great example for other actors never to give up and keep fighting for their dreams?
How can I remain angry at the lovely actress who said she could no longer be friends with people like me who didn’t “get it,” knowing how incredibly kind she is with every child she meets?
I am humbled by the example of my mother, Pilar, and how she was able to forgive the occupiers of her Philippines in World War II who killed both of her brothers. At last, it is forgiveness itself that is the gift that we give ourselves because it frees us as Jesus Christ intends for all of us to be free. For His gift of ultimate and unlimited forgiveness is indeed the gift for all humanity. May God bless you and your families now and forever.
Want to leave a tip?
We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Rob Schneider is an actor, comedian, and writer.