17 Year Old is Still Changing Lives

Posted on June 7, 2015 by Dr. Lynda

I struggle with staying in the present moment.

Image: CloudsWhile zooming through my days for friends, family, business and service projects, I have now added a new item on my to-do list: an urgency to slow down and be totally in the moment.

Now that this particular insight is praying on my mind, it makes the whole treadmill of life seem even stranger. I feel like I could get off the treadmill (that seems to be accelerating) but I just can’t quite reach the stop button, it’s juuuussst out of reach.

I knew I needed to cut through the chaos of life to more wholeheartedly include the better part of myself in moments with friends and family, but I couldn’t seem to be mindful often enough to master this.

Then I came across the remarkable person we will introduce you to today, and here’s his simple advice:

Sound a little vague? Stay with me. Here’s the story!

An Ever Widening Circles fan sent us a link to the following story some months ago, but I could tell where it was going, and for some reason I put off viewing it. Why I opened it this morning is a mystery, but I’m so glad I did! Beyond the music, and the story of a single, wonderful youth, It seems to be about what’s essential.

Have you heard about the young man who wrote a now very famous song called Clouds? The song reached #1 on iTunes and has been sung by the largest choir ever assembled. Zach Sobiech was 17 years old and diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer), with only months to live when he wrote the following song. The rest of the story is absolutely transforming, so stay with us. First, here’s Zach’s song, sung by celebrities who were delighted and inspired by Zach’s message too!…

Zach Sobiech liked to dream big. Here’s some quotes from the inspiring video that  we are sharing next.

“Life can be beautiful moments one right after another.”

“It’s really simple. Just try and make people happy.”

“I was really sad I had to miss the picnic. There’s nothing like a good picnic. Stupid lung.”

“I want to be remember as the kid who went down fighting and didn’t really lose.”

Zach’s vision was to teach us that we don’t have to learn we are dying to start living. Enjoy this and see if it takes you somewhere you might need to go…

What if it’s that simple?

Zach thought it was awesome to sit with someone who was smiling and know he put the smile on their face. What if, in most all our encounters, we were leaving something for people to lean on when we are gone?

This is surely something to consider. I know a few folks who lash out quickly and harshly at others, especially the people they love. What are we to do with that? Where does that lead, both in the moment and when we are gone…or when they are gone?!

Our time here is the greatest uncertainty. It’s time to get beyond our first impulses, and master ourselves in the moment.

Image: LOVE U in neon lights

And haven’t we all had our expectations dashed in a store, restaurant, healthcare setting, or school, and been harsh with some innocent person who happens to be the poor soul standing in front of us? I once lashed out at the John Deer repairman because my grass-bagger on my lawn tractor wasn’t working. I felt so bad that I sent them a huge note of apology, and that note is still pinned to their bulletin board, 15 years later. I asked them why. They said, “Because we get yelled at all the time, but no one ever apologizes.” I told them that most people probably feel like they should apologize, but don’t think they can write. I encouraged them to let my note stand in for all those good intentions.

(I can be accused of having “rose colored glasses”, because I always believe in the best in others. Naive? Maybe. But it has served me on many occasions.)

When we want to be harsh to our son, the teacher, the repairman, or whoever disappoints us,.. can we pause and get our heads into The Clouds for a change? Life can be surprisingly short.

Stay open, curious and stay hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles from like this one!


Zach’s song, ‘Clouds’ is available on iTunes and other online music stores and that proceeds benefit the Zach Sobiech Research Fund of Children’s Cancer Research Fund http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach

Here’s the recording of Clouds sung by the world’s largest assembled choir…

If you’d like to see another inspiring story that goes along perfectly with this theme, check out an article we did about a fabulous book called When Cancer Strikes a Friend.