William Fitzgerald (Fitz), a lieutenant serving overseas in the US Military during World Ward II, gains the ability to discover who will die via a strange flash of light that appears on their face shortly before their life ends. After predicting the deaths of several military personnel, Fitz shares his new found ability with his superior officer, Captain Riker. Captain Riker and the camp doctor, Captain Gunther, believe that Fitz is suffering from fatigue and some rest will do him good.
Back at their tent, Fitz reveals to Captain Riker he has seen the light across his face. The Captain, unsure whether to believe Fitz, leaves some personal items behind in the tent before heading off to battle; a few photographs and his wedding ring. As men in the unit discuss the rumors of a solider having a special ability, Captain Riker assures the men there are no mind readers in the camp. The men drive off into battle and later return, all but Captain Riker who was killed by a sniper’s bullet.
Upon the news of Captain Riker’s death, Captain Gunther notifies Fitz that he is on his way back to headquarters for some much needed R&R. While collecting his personal affects, Fitz catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and sees the light touch his face. Unsure what to believe, he gets in the Jeep with his driver and sets off to headquarters. When he looks at the driver’s face, he sees the light across his face as well. Knowing his fate, he becomes distant. After driving off the base, while the other soldiers are gathered around the camp at dusk, they hear an explosion in the distance.
What if you knew when the important people in your life were going to die? What if you knew when you would meet your own end? Would you do things differently? Would you speak your mind? Would you be kinder? More patient? More loving? Less judgmental? More understanding? Less fear? More risk? More vocal? Think about how differently you would live your life if you knew when it was going to end.
Research was done by Bronnie Ware to uncover the regrets of the dying. Here are the five that stood out as the most common:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
As far as I know, most of us don’t have the magical ability Lieutenant Fitzgerald possessed in the Twilight Zone. We don’t possess the knowledge of when our life or the life of a loved one will end, but we can act like we do. We are currently living in uncertain times filled with hate, fear, misunderstanding, racism, injustice, anger, sadness, and frustration. In these times we see how very fragile a human life is and how powerful our actions are. I can only hope that during times like these, we come together as one, realizing life is precious and we only get one go at it.
My hope for all of you is that you begin to live your life in a way that is true to who you are, what you believe in, and create a world you expect for yourself. I hope you begin to stop wasting your life working jobs you don’t like that are slowly tearing you apart piece by piece. I hope you have the courage to express your feelings, as raw and uncensored as they may be at times. I hope you not only stay in touch with your friends but cling to them like the precious gift they are in your life. They are your compass, your strength, your family, and your people. And most of all, I hope you will begin to give yourself permission to be happy. Happy is often seen as a luxury. Something you can feel later, but the opposite is true. Happiness is a necessity like air, water, and food. Without happiness, what is the point? Why are we here? What can you do today to experience happiness? I hope that starting today, you begin to live life the way it was meant to be lived and when your time does come to say good bye, you have no regrets.”