It was dark outside when we heard a loud noise. This was followed by a second, even louder crash as a taxi flipped upside down.

It all happened in the blink of an eye. It was not long before the police, fire trucks and ambulance arrived. We watched the stretcher being loaded into the ambulance. We expected the ambulance to rush to the hospital, but as it sat silently we realized that it was already too late.

One second is all it takes to dramatically alter life.

One second can mean the difference between making it onto the train or watching the doors close as the train pulls out of the station. One second you could feel fine and the next the doctor could be diagnosing you with cancer. One second you could be alive and the next you could be in an accident in the middle of an intersection.

I often hear people talk about what they would do if they knew they only had a few days left to live. Where would they like to travel, who would they want to be with and what would they want to eat? How would they spend this precious time? These are interesting questions. There is even a series of books that list 1001 things to see and do before you die.

Since most of us don’t know when we are going to die, perhaps it would be more realistic to consider this question: If you were to die in the next minute, how would you feel about the life you have lived?

Are you proud of your accomplishments? Will you be remembered as an honest, hardworking individual who cared about others?

Does your family know how much you love them? Do your parents know how much you appreciate them? Will your friends and coworkers have happy memories of you or will the memories be filled with jealousy, resent or anger?

Another interesting way to see life is to pretend you are attending your own funeral. How many people will be there? What will they say about you? What would you want them to say?

Our lives are extremely fragile. Don’t waste time being angry with others or ignoring the people who are really important in your life.

Everything could change in one second.

Reach out to those around you before it is too late. Don’t have any regrets.

Note:  previously published on Make Time for Chocolate