Positive perspectives and practices for personal growth.

Stephen Sutton: An Inspiration

What an inspiration Stephen Sutton is, who died today at just 19 years old.

He said, before his death from terminal bowel cancer, that if he could inspire people not to take life for granted, then his life would have had meaning.

And whilst most people, myself included, would have just felt sorry for themselves for having been dealt such a rough blow in life, Stephen’s ethos was simple: cancer sucks, but life is great; and not a second of it should be wasted.

It would be hard to look death in the face with such courage having led a long and fulfilled life. And yet Stephen, who was just 19, did exactly that.

Although I am sure he would have wished it hadn’t have happened to him, he didn’t bemoan his misfortune. Instead he vowed to make the most of the time left to him; both to experience life to the full and to help as many other people as possible. At the time of his death today, he has raised over £3.3 million for cancer research.

I find it hard to believe that someone born when I was all already 20 years old, has faced so much in life with such courage, and achieved more than I have done in less than half the timeframe. I have nothing but admiration for that.

I can say one thing: that seeing such courage and bravery in the face of adversity, of gaining so much meaning from life when it would’ve been easy to have given in, to have remained so positive and upbeat when it would’ve been so easy to have been crushed by life’s misfortunes, to see life as so precious and great when you know your own is going to be cut so tragically short, to care enough about other people to raise so much money when your own days were ebbing away, to be so altruistic, so caring, so full of life whilst staring death in the face, is truly inspirational.

His mother said today, “My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain”. All I can hope is that the pride she feels for her courageous and inspirational son, goes some way to easing that pain.

I have a feeling that someone like Stephen, more than anyone, wouldn’t have wanted people to have mourned his death, but would’ve wanted them to celebrate his life.

A short life which truly was filled to the brim with meaning, and is truly inspirational.

Stephen, more than anyone, is an example to us all: he is a profound reminder of how precious, beautiful and transient life really is; and how not a minute should be squandered on trivialities, worries or petty grievances.

We just have one life, we have to make the most of it. There are no dress rehearsals, there are no second chances. It really is a case of Carpe Diem.

There was a spectacular full moon tonight.

Stephen, rest in peace. Please check out Stephen’s fundraising page.

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