Miles Levin: Dying to Make a Difference
“I have tried my best to show what it is to persevere, and what it means to be strong.”
After a two-year battle with cancer, teenager Miles Levin, unfortunately lost his fight. However, during his final years, he achieved a level of self-awareness, courage and wisdom that most of us will never reach.
Miles chose to post his observations on carepages.com blog and through his writings he inspired thousands of people. He wrote with amazing grace and eloquence. Some of his posts were short:
“Dying is not what scares me. It’s dying and having no impact.”
Some were long and philosophical. But each post served a significant purpose in that it challenged the reader to think more deeply about life, death and making a difference.
Through his expressions Miles left the world a better place than he came into it. I can only hope I do the same with my life. Here’s what Miles said just one month after being diagnosed with terminal cancer:
“I went to the driving range the other day and I was thinking…I was thinking about how you start out with a big bucket full of golf balls, and you just start hitting away carelessly. You have dozens of them, each individual ball means nothing to you so just hit, hit, hit.
One ball is practically inconsequential when subtracted from your bottomless bucket. There are no practice swings or technique re-evaluations after a bad shot, because so many more tries remain.
Yet eventually you start to have to reach down towards the bottom of the bucket to scavenge for another shot and you realize that tries are running out. Now with just a handful left, each swing becomes more crucial, so between each shot you take a couple practice swings and a few deep breaths.
There is a very strong need to end on a good note, even if the preceding shot was terrible, getting it right at the end means a lot. You know as you tee up your last ball, ‘This is my final shot, I want to crush this with perfection; I must make this count.’
Limited quantities or limited time brings a new, precious value and significance to anything you do. Live every day shooting as if it’s your last shot, I know I have to.”
–Miles Alpern Levin, July 7, 2005
Like Miles suggested, we should treat each day as a precious ball of life. Take your time, take a breath and make a practice swing. Make each shot count and most of all finish strong!
Excerpt from the book, Finish Strong, by Dan Green.