When You’re Dead You’re Dead…

CurrencyI just finished watching season 12 of Trailer Park Boys and it was a bittersweet experience. If you’re familiar with the show then you know that John Dunsworth aka Mr. Lahey passed away last October. They had already finished taping season 12 so they were able to keep him in the show.

At the end of the last episode they showed Mr. Lahey sitting on his couch and he said something that was so poignant, so right that I had to share it.

‘The most valuable currency is gratitude. And when you’re dead you’re dead but you’re not quite so dead if you contribute something.’

I’m sure some of you are dismissing the show as crass, crude, offensive. I certainly thought it was one of the dumbest shows I had ever seen when I watched the first season. And I freely admit it has its moments.

But I have learned more about family, about forgiveness, about unconditional love from this show than I had my entire childhood. These characters are unashamedly real. They stick together. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t judge.

And it was obvious right after Dunsworth’s passing that the rest of the actors had a special connection with him and felt his loss very deeply.

These are men who had a dream and went after it. I’m sure there were plenty of people who told them they couldn’t be successful. They told them there was no way anyone would want to watch a show about a bunch of screw ups living in a trailer park.

And yet there was one actor that did believe in them and the show. Dunsworth was a well-known actor in Canada and he certainly was a genius as Mr. Lahey. And this last quote is evidence of how much he cared.

So I wanted to take a minute to talk about what he said.

First, he said the most valuable currency is gratitude. At first I wasn’t sure what he meant. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. We spend so much time trying to get more from other people, trying to take that we forget to be grateful for what we already have.

I don’t know about you but I find it so much easier to continue to give if I know there is gratitude from the receiving party. If I know I’m not just wasting my time I will go that extra mile just to make someone else happy. So what if we all were just a little more grateful? What if we spent a little more gratitude?

You know, instead of bitching and moaning about what we don’t have or what we thought we wanted and then changed our minds once we got it…

The second part is very stoic which is probably why it struck such a chord with me. There is no denying that when we’re dead we’re dead. I suppose depending on one’s particular faith that may mean something different, but the fact still remains we’re no longer living, breathing on this earth after we die.

But we’re not quite so dead if we contribute something…

We all leave a legacy behind. It doesn’t matter if we’re known by the whole world or just a handful of family and friends. We still live on in their thoughts and lives. We had some impact on them, either positive or negative…

This logically led me to ask what legacy I was leaving. What am I contributing, if anything, that will help the people I leave behind remember me in a positive light?

It’s one thing to leave this world without regrets, but it’s more special to know that we made a difference to someone. It’s no longer about us. We get past ourselves and our own desires. Our priorities shift so that even when we’re dead, we’re not quite so dead.

Thank you, John Dunsworth…

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