Flying home over the weekend, I re-watched “Fast & Furious” from the plane’s entertainment system. Unbeknownst until late Sunday, I learned that Paul Walker’s life ended on a Los Angeles street, death by fire. Ultimately, some will claim Mr. Walker’s life ended as he lived, fast, furious and alive. Others might note the late star’s death mirrored one of many scenes in the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
Walker’s passing isn’t about the movies he made. It’s that deep sense of how someone so young will impact everyone. Dying young leaves holes. Having been a rescue man, I remain haunted by telling loved ones a family member passed on some lonely stretch of highway. There is simply no good age to lose a father, a friend, a coworker or soul mate.
On Anderson Cooper’s (CNN) “Special Report: To Heaven and Back,” some near death experiences claim a response that their time wasn’t complete and they had more to accomplish. Some might same Mr. Walker’s time one earth was complete and God called him home. After all, he was a respected humanitarian. With a passion for marine biology, he joined the Board of Directors of The Billfish Foundation. In March 2010, Walker went to Constitución, Chile to offer support for the victims of the Chilean 8.8 magnitude earthquake. He also flew with his humanitarian aid team, REACH OUT Worldwide, to Haiti and lent a helping hand to Haitian earthquake victims.
Maybe Walker’s death was not ordained. While noting his accomplishments, it’s hard to imagine a spiritual being choosing an earthly life … and oh by the way … your life will end by being engulfed by fire. Ok? Ok!
From a Buddhist perspective, people die for various reasons at different ages. That is just the way it is. It is pure foolishness to think good people die of old age and bad people die young. Remember, after a hard summer storm, the forest floor is littered by fallen leaves of both brown and green, those which had died and those full of life. This is simply nature at work.
In truth, Walker’s death probably was due in part to speed, bad decision and the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Walker’s racing team partner. One professional racing driver told Autoweek the Porsche Carrera GT was “scary” to drive, even for pros.
I’ve never met Mr. Walker. But let’s honor Mr. Walker’s life. From what I know, he transformed darkness into light. He epitomized the beauty of God’s creation; that the lowly world be refined by the good deeds of one another. It can only be achieved through the humanity of life.
At the end of the day, Walker’s life gives all of us the chance to realize what should remain most important:
“You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy,” Walker said to “Flaunt Magazine” in July 2001. “Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae.”
Tell the people in your life they are loved. That’s what Mr. Walker would have wanted.