The Kobe Effect I Didn’t See Coming

Carole Morris
3 min readAug 3, 2020
Image by cocoparisienne for Pixabay

My weekly Downshifting class was at a key point: putting together all of the reflections about values, meaning, passions, and strengths, and deciding what will replace the time previously spent working.

The horrible helicopter crash happened during our in-person weekly sessions. One of the class members mentioned how the deaths of Kobe and the others riding with him was a bit paralyzing — that it made him think about all of the important things to be done, and therefore choosing how to spend time during his newfound freedom was an important decision: so important that he was stuck. He and others in the class mentioned being fearful of making a bad choice, or making an insignificant life-plan.

So many of us think that once we live in the now and remember our mortality, we’ll more easily yet vibrantly go about the business of living. This wasn’t true for my class. They were more afraid of wasting precious time. This is akin to survivor’s guilt: someone as important as Kobe is gone, and here I am…feeling a bit like a waste of space.

Image by Alexas_Fotos for Pixabay

As I thought about our class over the weekend following the session, I found, though, that I wasn’t thinking about my own life ending, say…tomorrow. What I found myself thinking instead was about the realization that ALL of our lives could end tomorrow. Not only do I not have a guarantee, but neither does anyone else. And instead of thinking “I only have a day left, what would I do with it?” I thought, “This could be YOUR last day; how can I contribute to it being as marvelous as possible?” Imagine if everyone you encountered was concerned for your well-being on YOUR last day?!

If somehow, I was the only one that knew that we would all die, that it was imminent, I WOULD live more in the moment, and more lovingly. If you needed to cut me off on my way to the dog park? Okay, I understand…let me slow down so you can get in my lane. Example after example offered me an opportunity that day — to live in the moment with light and love.

If a big tsunami is coming tomorrow at noon to wipe out you and yours…would you be thinking about the millions you planned to make, the…

Carole Morris

Living everyday like it’s Saturday: retired. I was born for this.