Leave Death for the Dying and Take Life for Your­self

Trillions - - Contents - By Dr. Chance T. Eaton

I stand over his grave – say­ing good­bye for the fi­nal time. He was a com­plex man, with as many demons in his soul as spir­i­tual serv­ings. He lay in a spe­cial place in this world, a place that in 1909 brought hope for his home­steading an­ces­tors, a new life, a new way, a new be­gin­ning. The name of this place is Union Val­ley. This is where so many Mon­tana home­stead­ers came in the early 1900’s to stake their claim in the Amer­i­can dream – to be­come peo­ple of the land, to strug­gle, to over­come, to be free. Today, hun­dreds have come to honor his death, and now he re­turns home.

Few can say they came from some­where and did much with their lives. He did. From hum­ble be­gin­nings, he ven­tured out with his soul brothers to sim­ply ‘build’. If these soul brothers were born of rail­road­ers, they would have built track from coast to coast; if they had been min­ers, they would have mined met­als from ridge to ridge. But in­stead they were farm­ers – and he helped lead the charge to be­come one of the most prom­i­nent cat­tle breed­ers, ranch­ers, farm­ers, and land own­ers in the north­ern Plains.

One month be­fore his death, he sat on my couch, speak­ing of suc­ces­sion, speak­ing of tran­si­tion to one more gen­er­a­tion of farm­ers and ranch­ers. He was a per­son gifted with con­text and his­tory, so I was cu­ri­ous as to why his in­ten­tions were now sud­denly on a day that would come past his time. When it dawned on me in that living room – he was dying. Though he had no known phys­i­cal con­di­tions, and was deemed healthy, I knew he was sub­con­sciously shar­ing his de­sires be­fore he would pass on. Peo­ple of­ten know when their time is com­ing, they pre­pare, they give, they share, they speak of a bet­ter to­mor­row. I knew his time was short.

Stand­ing over the grave, this life­less box con­tain­ing what was once a man of be­lief and value, I know my time would come too. We are all be­ings-to­ward-death. I don’t how, nor do I know when, but I know with cer­tainty I too will one day be buried in that same ceme­tery in Union Val­ley. De­spite the anx­i­ety that comes from one’s in­evitable death, I re­al­ize the ab­sur­dity of plac­ing my at­ten­tion on death, when in fact I am alive. With life comes this mo­ment; this space, this unique ex­pe­ri­ence that is solely mine. This mo­ment is mine, and I can make it stretch to feel like

an eter­nity. It is upon me to make this space one of glory, one of tri­umph, and one of im­pact. The dead can not do this, only the living.

Death gives mean­ing to life. Without the con­text of death, we wouldn’t have the pres­sure of an end­ing to give life its in­ten­sity. An ab­so­lute end­ing means this mo­ment in time is pre­cious – this mo­ment is all that we have. Life needs death, and death needs life. We all re­turn to where we came from, and we all came from where we re­turn.

Stand­ing over this grave, I won­der who I am, who I am be­com­ing, where I am go­ing, and whether any of it re­ally mat­ters. This les­son is one that we of­ten ig­nore due to our DNA and ego’s de­sire to push le­gacy and ge­netic fit­ness into eter­nity. But this is the thought of an an­i­mal, and though much of our species may be noth­ing more than slightly evolved an­i­mals – we have the po­ten­tial to bring peace, har­mony, and sin­gu­lar­ity to our cause. I too have this po­ten­tial, as do we all. My fa­ther al­ways said “leave every­thing you touch bet­ter than when you ar­rived”. I can do that, I will do that. This death gives me the in­spi­ra­tion to make anew, to leave all that I touch a lit­tle bet­ter than when I ar­rived.

I now leave him to rest; he need not get up to­mor­row to check cows and he need not farm into the dark of night to fill the bins with crop. Now he rests, peace­fully, in a place that I don’t un­der­stand. But I know his life meant some­thing, and in his death, he is speak­ing to me. He says, get up – go out into the world, cre­ate, live, breathe un­til you have no breath left; ex­press your will, bring peace to those in fear; get up and chal­lenge the sta­tus quo, build anew, see the tex­tures and hear the sounds which were silent be­fore – do this and every­thing be­fore you too re­turn to your home, here in Union Val­ley. Leave death to the dying and take life for your­self.

El­ner Don­ald Eaton April 26, 1943-June 5, 2018

Dr. Chance Eaton has over a decade’s worth of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the field of learn­ing and or­ga­ni­za­tional de­vel­op­ment. Due to his unique ed­u­ca­tional and work ex­pe­ri­ences in fi­nance, psy­chol­ogy, lead­er­ship and man­age­ment, education, noetic sciences and agri­cul­ture, Dr. Eaton pro­vides his clients with rel­e­vant busi­ness so­lu­tions grounded in the­ory and re­search. To learn more about Dr. Eaton’s ser­vices, visit www.hc­sin­ter.com

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