Whatever Is Right – Wed – 21-03-10

Let’s talk for a moment about obituaries. I know, I know — that sounds like a morbid thing, but it’s not. It provides a way for us to examine what is right, meaning something that meets the standards or someone that fulfills their obligations.

I used the internet to collect a few recent obituaries from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. I then compared them. All the obituaries have certain elements in common such as date of death, lists of relatives and the schedule of funeral services. What is interesting is to note the adjectives used to describe the deceased. You find phrases like, “loved wife,” “wonderful mother,” “loving husband,” “dear father” and “her presence will be truly missed by all the lives that she touched.”

These phrases declare that the deceased fulfilled the basic obligation to love family and friends. Some obituaries also include information on their impact beyond family. One physician’s obituary included, “His patients often said that he treated them with care, kindness, and humor.” You will also see the word served a lot. It may highlight service in the military, government, a charity or a church. These highlight that the person fulfilled obligations to his or her community and faith.

But to find whatever is right, we don’t have to look at the deceased. Look around at all the living people who fulfill their obligations to family, friends, community and faith.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.