Life, Death and a Good Place to Park
On my evening commute I used to drive by a funeral home. Most nights when there was a service the parking lot was about half full. A handful of nights it was nearly full. But every once in a while the lot was completely full. The traffic even spilled out onto the side streets.
I often wondered -- when it's my turn to step into that great beyond, what will my parking lot look like?
Will I have one of those mediocre, barely half-filled lots? Will people be reluctant to come because they'll miss "Happy Hour" at the nearby Applebees? It's terrible to be remembered as the one who stood in the way of everybody's free nachos and $1 draft beers (whenever people start doing that again).
I had formulated a theory after driving by for a few months. My theory was: the more cars that were in the lot, the more that soul was loved. The fewer the cars in the lot, the less they were cared about.
I mean, it made sense at face value. But once I started to really think through it the logic kind of broke down. A person could do the right thing and remove people from their lot. For instance, they could support a just cause but it offended people they know. Those were people not worth having in your parking lot anyway.
Or a person could do the right thing but not add someone to their lot. Maybe you leave a really big tip to a waiter or waitress that is struggling, but it's done anonymously. They won't even know to come to your parking lot. But it was the right thing to do nonetheless.
So after some additional soul searching, I came up with a new theory that made more sense.
It's impossible to tell from the size of the parking lot how much the person was loved.
There can be a completely full lot with people who think the person was OK but felt obligated to go. Or it could be a small lot of cars where every single visitor loved the person because of they were an incredible person and touched each one.
I try and live my life by asking "am I adding cars to my parking lot or removing them?". But I'm human, so sometimes I succeed in considering that and sometimes not so much. I try. And in the end I hope to have a parking lot filled with cars belonging people who loved me. No matter how many there are.
It's something to think about. Maybe you can think about it too the next time you're at happy hour with free nachos and $1 draft beers (whenever people start doing that again).