What Would The Speech Be Like At Your Funeral? - Speaker For The Dead

Today, I went to visit the God Pod, as usual.  Only, this time Ben was not able to join me.  I needed to go alone because Ben had another appointment.  I wasn't nervous really, but I was asked to give them homework which did feel a little odd, since I never had to do that to anyone in my life. 

I decided I would give them a gift.  I call it a gift of true self-awareness.  About two years ago I was reading a book.  It was a book that changed my life.  The book is called Ender's Game.  The first book was a masterpiece.  You grow up with a young boy in those pages.  You learn what he went through and how he chiseled out his character like a beautiful marble statue. 

As I read this book I started to really care about this kid.  There are many books that do this, but this one topped them all for me.  He was abused by family, bullied at school and his keep-the-peace mindset often caused more problems for him.  He made really grown-up choices as a young boy due to the hardships he was facing. 

I don't want to ruin the story, but basically he learns the hard way that adults are not going to be there for him.  In fact, adults damaged him far more than his other abusers ever could.  The story ends in a trick that sucks all life's joy from him.  He is left in the ashes of the hard circumstances he had been through. 

Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.
— Ender Wiggin (Ender's Game)

Book two is where the real masterpiece comes along.  Ender, in attempt to redeem himself for actions he took in the first book decides to never go back to earth again and find a new place to affect the human race in a positive way.

In so doing he creates a new life goal, which he calls being a "Speaker for the Dead".  This means a lot more than what it lets on.  The basic premise is that he tells all aspects of what a person's life was about during their funeral.  

Let me explain.  When you go to a funeral, you NEVER hear anything bad about the person.  So, in a way, you are not getting the reality of this person at a funeral.  And that's been pretty much the way it's been for as far back as history shows.  

Well, Ender becomes a Speaker for the Dead.  So he tells those who are in attendance about the infidelities and insecurities of the person who passed away.  He gives reality to the person who died.  He allows them to be set free from the lies they always hid from others.  Most importantly, he does this with the person asking for this service.  People pay him before they die to tell the truth about themselves.

Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf.
— Ender Wiggin (Ender's Game)

Many times, this is the problem with our current funeral system, because so many people are glorified as if they are holier than thou and we don't hear about the illegitimate children or the time they were molested by their neighbor.  Which is really doing a disservice to the rest of mankind, because we never really know what they were like.  This leaves us feeling insignificant or already feeling like more of a failure.

Because of these two INCREDIBLE books I decided to write my own Eulogy about a year ago and oh boy was it painful.  I wrote it as if I was a "Speaker for the Dead" in the Ender's Game universe.  The real question you might be thinking is, why?

The reason is simple, it changed my life completely.  It forced me to recognize how many promises I made to myself and others.  It forced me to eat the truth of my circumstances and own up to them.  I don't know quite how long I was living life as if it was going to go on forever, but it's been at least 10 years.  

This is why I challenged the men I met with today at the God Pod to do the same thing.  This is now why I am challenging you to do the same thing as well.  In order to change, we must find solid footing.  We must be real with ourselves and let it create within us a new person who will not let those downfalls stand anymore.

I am challenging you to write a Eulogy about your successes and failures.  I am asking you to sit still for 30 minutes and realize all the promises you made and gave up on to yourself and to others.  After you've done this, maybe wait a couple days so you can think, then write another.

Only, this time write it as if you are a Speaker for the Dead at your funeral years from now, when you've accomplished all the things you've set out to do.  You are going to keep these okay?  You are going to read them whenever you feel like you need some motivation.  

Disclaimer: This is going to be painful, but you must do it to set yourself free.

I promise this will be worth it.  Let's spread the word around.  Try to get other people you know to do this too.  Get back to me with how it's helped you in your life.

Martin J Glennon