Last month, 70’s music and TV star David Cassidy (eldest son on the show The Partridge Family), passed away from liver failure. From Page Six (emphasis mine):
“Words can’t express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time. My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time,’” Cassidy’s daughter, “Arrow” star Katie Cassidy, tweeted Friday. “This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute…. thank you.”
“To be able to go to someone I’m genetically linked to, tell them anything and know that they’re not going to judge me — it’s unbelievable,” Katie concurred. “It’s nice when your dad can be your friend.”
I’m not picking on Katie Cassidy, but a few things from this story struck me as worthy of discussion: Genetics, judgment, and time.
Beyond identifying disease predispositions, genetics and parenting have virtually nothing to do with each other. Whoever puts the effort into caring for a child through adulthood is that child’s parent; how that child came into this world is irrelevant. So, it’s nice that we have a genetic link to relate to someone, but outside of that genetics is a parlor trick.
Now to judgement as it relates to what Katie said about her dad. From Matthew 7:1 (NIV):
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
The key phrase here is “…and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” In other words, if you judge someone for a particular act, you too will be judged against that same standard. We are peppered with admonitions not to judge people, but in truth we must. If you see someone stealing, should you not judge? If you see a man molesting a child, should you not judge? Germane to today’s headlines, if you see someone sexually harassing or assaulting someone, should you not speak up?
It’s not that we shouldn’t judge, it’s that we shouldn’t condemn, which is predicting where someone’s soul goes when they die – north or south – and that privilege is above everyone’s pay grade. But if any of my children come to me for help, and in describing their situation tell me of bad decisions they’ve made that landed them in their current predicament, you’re damn right I’m going to judge. So too is it for me and anyone I turn to for help.
Understand, I’m not condemning Katie Cassidy. We are called to help those in need, but in doing so, what’s the point of helping if we can’t stop or at least point out destructive behavior?
Lastly, there is time — the most precious commodity. As you read this, the seconds on your life are
ticking down. No one knows when it’s going to happen, but one day you will die. Like so many people who’ve said on their death bed, “I wish I hadn’t worked so much” or “I wish I had spent more time with family,” understand something: Since we neither know the day nor hour of our passing, look beyond this moment and realize that if you aren’t living your life as you wish, start living your life as you wish — right now.
As David Cassidy’s crystal-clear message tells us all, what are you wasting time on? Could you be doing something that improves your health, your mind, your spirit, your finances, your relationships? How often are you on social media (as a former addict, yes, I’m judging you)? How often are you amusing yourself while your better life awaits — binging on Netflix (guilty), watching a movie you’ve seen multiple times (guilty), playing video games (slightly guilty), or knitting? As hokey as it sounds, that last one is as poisonous as anything else if it keeps you from improving your life.
As 2017 ticks down, look as this time next year and ask yourself what you can do now that your 2018 self will thank you for. When you define it, do it. Don’t wait until January 1. Do it now.
Thank you, David and Katie Cassidy.
Image: Excerpted from: The original uploader was Rosecooney at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Motopark using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7554654