In this powerful and moving TED talk, Candy Chang shares her New Orleans community’s most fervent wishes. Candy converted an abandoned, graffiti-covered building into a chalkboard wall with these words, “Before I die I want to ____________________.”, repeated over and over. Very soon, her neighbors had shared their deepest desires, and the wall was full of a community’s longings.
This reminds me of one of the keys to living according to the MOGO principle of doing the most good and least harm to ourselves and others. In my book, Most Good, Least Harm, I write about living one’s epitaph. To do so, we must reflect upon what we would want our epitaph to be. Asking ourselves these questions, “Before I die, I want to….” or “What do I want my epitaph to be?” allows us to more fully and deeply lead lives of meaning, purpose and, ultimately, joy.
If we extend Candy’s provocative, community-building, enriching question even further, by asking a slight variation on this question, we can add even great meaning to our lives: What do you want to have done before you die to make this world a better place?
With your one, precious, miraculous life, what matters most?
Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm; Above All, Be Kind; and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDxDirigo talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach“
My TEDxYouth@CEHS “How to Be a Solutionary”
Like my blog? Please share it with others, comment, and/or subscribe to our RSS feed.