Near the end of his life, author and educator Bradford Smith (1909-64) wrote the following passage for an unpublished booklet titled “Dear Gift of Life”:

"Once we accept the fact that we shall disappear, we also discover the larger self which relates us to our family and friends, to our neighborhood and community, to nation and humanity, and, indeed, to the whole creation out of which we have sprung. We are a part of all this, too, and death cannot entirely withdraw us from it. To the extent that we have poured ourselves into all these related groups and persons, we live on in them."

Stricken with stomach cancer at 54, Smith braved his death by keeping a pen in his hand. Smith had studied variations of Buddhism while living in Japan from 1931 to 1936, and even though he never directly identified himself with the religion, the passage from “Dear Gift of Life” reflects his Buddhism-inspired belief in achieving a harmonic relationship with nature and making peace with our place in the world.