Dead But Alive

For many years now, I was given a lot of opportunities to visit museums in different countries. It never failed to amaze me that each work of art, like painting, sculpture, books, symbols ones legacy, heroism, symbol of  person’s  principles and character displayed by leaders whose gone before us was the product of the unleashing of someone’s potential.

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Although majority of the artists, heroes, inventors, leaders were dead, their works remain alive!  The display of their work gave a clear manifestation that their potential had not been buried with them into their graves.  Because they decided to use, unleash and expose their talents and God given gifts, I and many others were being encouraged by their magnificent work.  The values, principle worth emulating and character they displayed are the world’s precious gift!

The tragic death of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo last August 18 from a plane crash is an example of outstanding individual who did not allow death to put a stop to his dreams for the country.

He is dead but his works, values are principles remain alive! The programs he started motivate people to continue. His death did not put an end to what he wanted to convey and teach the people around him.  Instead his death became an audible speaker that vibrates up to the next generation.

He left a legacy by leaving a transformed hometown into one of the models of good governance in the Philippines.  He achieved “Dangal ng Bayan” award the highest government award given to government officials for exemplary public service. He was a faithful husband, a loving father whose principles are worth passing to the next generation. According to RMAF Jesse Robredo’s principles was that “If our children cannot inherit anything material, at least they will inherit a good name.”

A simple and a humble man now with state funeral with full honors! Communication Secretary Ricky Carandang says, “The full honors befit someone like Jesses who had done so much to help his country.”

The beautiful part was the outpouring and almost never ending honor accorded to him by his family, friends, associates; people in the government.  People from different parts of the country came to honor and gave him gratitude for the significant impact he made in their lives.

Yes, we may be not be Secretary Jesse Robredo who achieved the full honor and state funeral but we can make a dent in this world and be significant contribution to the people around us.

And in our own way will befit the full honor to be accorded by our Creator.

Let me bring you to an exercise, you may ponder on:

Imagine being one of the companions of Jesse Robredo in a plane crash.  Together with him, you met a tragic death on the same day he died.

Now, imagine your funeral and see the people who will come to honor you. I would like you to reflect about what each of these people will say about how you lived your life.

What would you like each of your friends to say about you? What kind of friend were you to them? What would you like each of the people you worked with say about the kind of employee you were? What kind of boss, business associate?  What would you like their words to reflect about you and the work that you have done?

What do you think your church leader to say about your service? How about the people that you serve in the ministry you belong to? What kind of impact you have in their lives?

What do you think will your family and relatives they say about you? What kind of son or daughter? What kind of brother, sister, or cousin? What do you think were the memories you had with them that they will share during your funeral?

What do you think are the principles and values that your children they will share that they have seen you lived? What kind of father or mother were you to them?

What kind of husband or wife were you to your spouse? What were your beliefs and values that your spouse will remember about you?

If you will be given a chance to speak on your funeral what can you say about the life you lived?

And lastly, what do you think God will say about how you lived your life?  What were the eternal implications of the things that you have done on earth?

Do you think you will receive a full honor from your Creator? Will there be a heroes welcome? What will heaven say about you?

Seriously reflect on these questions one by one. Imagine the faces of the people and the words that they will say about you.

You will then realize that the most devastating things in life are a never tragic accident that leads to death but life that is not significant. A life that does not impact or make a dent in the lives of others.

The good news is, what you have done was just an exercise.  Now that you are still alive and can still read this article, you can still change the speech of the people on your funeral by the way you will live your life now!

You may not be able to change what happened in the past, the mistakes you’ve made, the pain you have caused others but you have the choice now to unleash your potential and not allow the circumstance or people around you to dictate your destiny.

The cemetery is full of people with so much potential but never realized it because they have chosen to bring it to their graves. So many dreams left unmet. So many plans left undone. Love remains unexpressed, works of heroism remain ideas. It is about time to put a stop to into it.

Unleash your life by doing things of significance and has an eternal implications. Unleash your God given gifts for the sake of the people you will leave behind. Don’t be contented in discovering what you can do someday, where you can go nor be satisfied in pondering who you can be and the legacy you are capable to leave.

A significant and unleashed life is more than a museum that people will marvel and appreciate. It is a powerful lesson that will echo in the hearts of the people around you.

Live well so you can die well.  Let your unleashed life write the speech in your funeral and leave a lasting impact that will change the lives of the people you will leave behind.

Most of all, you may not have a state funeral-with full honor when you die but you will receive a full honor from the Creator by the way you live your life!

May we be reminded that the scripture did not say “Well said,” but instead, “Well done.”

Let me end by sharing with you portion of the lyrics from my favorite song “Find us Faithful” by Steve Green:

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who’ve gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
A heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

 Yes, we cannot escape death but may the lives we lived continue to inspire and unleash the highest potential in people even after our death for the glory of God.

(Excerpted from Avelynn Garcia’s upcoming book Unleash Your Highest Potential)


Avelynn Regalado-Garcia is currently the Executive Vice President of Unleash International Corporation, a high-tech, high-touch, high-impact training company whose main mission is to unleash the highest potential in people towards success, happiness, and significance. For more than 20 years now, she passionately conducts seminars, workshops, conference, and conventions for top local and multinational companies, schools, and organizations in the country and abroad.

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  • Marcelo, Jr. P. Julao

    “Live well so you can die well!” very powerful indeed. I remember Captain Nathan Algren (Last Samurai) when he was asked by the Emperor of how the great warrior Katsumoto died, he responded “I will not tell you how he died, I will tell you how he lived!” … may who all who come behind us find us faithful. God Bless Us!

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