12 Things to Try While You’re Still Mortal by Roy Ice is a book about living a more purposeful life, i.e. making your life count for something. Mr. Ice was my college chaplain and the book came out the year I graduated so I felt it was something I should purchase and take with me into grad school. Sad to say it’s taken almost nine years for me to crack the cover and actually read what he had to say.
Based on Christian principles of living a good life, such as letting God handle the stresses in life and focusing on love others rather than judging others, I think those who aren’t into religion may find this read interesting. Some of the chapters are very much rooted in the Bible, but there are also more “universal” principles that can apply to anyone regardless of religion or creed.
One of “things to try” that I think we can all work on is stress. There are some many things that cause us stress in life and the majority of the time it’s over matters that we have no control over. I myself have learned to only control those things I can and take everything one step at a time.
Another stand-out “thing to try” was loving versus judging others. Mr. Ice relates an account that happened to him on an airplane where the flight attendant and the passenger next to Mr. Ice had a disagreement. The flight attendant assumed the passenger wasn’t paying attention to the safety instructions and as they were seated in the emergency exit row, the flight attendant needed the passenger to be paying attention. But the flight attendant’s anger was making the passenger nervous and anxious which made the flight attendant feel that the man wasn’t capable of handling being in the emergency exit and ultimately moved the passenger into the back of the plane. The takeaway from this was that we sometimes we sum people up before we get the true story of what’s causing their behavior. And sometimes we are the cause of someone’s behavior.
While I appreciated what Mr. Ice had to say, it was too brief for me. I feel like this was an introduction rather than an actual how-to. So if you’re looking for more of brief guide to living a more purposeful life than I recommend this book.