I wanted to get the kids thinking about the importance of making every day count. Didn't think it would be appropriate to tell them to imagine they would die soon - at least not in the individual sense. So I told them to imagine that a meteorite would strike the Earth in a week. This didn't seem to freak them out. A said he would stay home because the world would be in chaos. P & N spoke about toys & video games they would buy & play. C, who was catching a ride with me today, said she would fly her extended family to SF to spend time hanging out with them.
I then modified the scenario to one in which they were the only ones who knew about the meteorite. That way, there would be no chaos around. And I then further modified the scenario to one in which there was only a 10% chance of the meteorite hitting the Earth. The idea now being to force them to balance short term fun with long term consequences - of skipping school, for example.
We ran out of time so I plan to return to this topic. I am hoping that we can get into a habit, as a family, of doing truly meaningful things every week (if not every day). What would constitute "truly meaningful"? My initial thinking is:
1) Helping someone else, i.e., making the world a better place.
2) Having a great time, i.e., enjoying life.
3) Improving ourselves, i.e., making ourselves better people.