Why do we continuously have to be reminded how precious life is?
Every time somebody we know passes away, too young, too soon, too abrupt, and we remind ourselves that we only have one life. That we have to live life to the fullest. That we have to make the most of it.
And then life gets in the way… We go back to what we did before, the same complaining about your job, the traffic, other people, the weather. Until another reminder happens. Somebody you know has a terminal illness and doesn’t know if he or she makes it to the end of this year.
Well, you know what? There is a continuous reminder in your life. It is your own life. We all have a terminal illness, it’s called birth. From the moment you came into this world, it is known that you are going to leave again. There is nothing you can do about it (well, as long as you don’t do the whole cryonics thing, and then still, how do you know for sure somebody will defrost you again? You’re a popsicle after all, so you can’t sue them if they dont). You don’t know when it is going to end, but what you do know is that it is going to end. How much more reminder do we need?
So here we are, not needing any new reminders, but being reminded constantly that this is the one life we have to live. What are you going to do? Just imagine you get to hear exactly how much longer you have to live. A year, three years and four months, or maybe even another 75 years. After the initial feelings of knowing you only have this or that much longer to live, you may start to accept the fact and get into a state of peace with your destiny. You start to feel grateful for the time you had and for the time you still have given. You don’t go around with complaints and hate, but with acceptance, respect and love, because you don’t want to waste your precious time left here with negative feelings. Don’t regret anything. Do whatever you still wanted to do, work on your bucket list as much as you can.
What if you don’t have time to get your whole bucket list done? Will you get upset about that? Instead of working on crossing more things off my bucket list, I also like to stop and look back at the things that I have done in my life; my ‘been there, done that’-list. I have gone parasailing, paragliding and parahawking. I have traveled around the world by myself for a year and a half. I have seen the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest. I have been to the SXSW and seen a soccer match in Rio’s Maracana stadium. I have stayed on an underground camping ground and volunteered in an orphanage. And I have seen, done and traveled so much more. Sure, there is still a lot that I have on my bucket list, but for now I’m grateful for the fact that I have done those things, traveled to those places and seen those landmarks.
Be grateful, even for the simplest things in life. You woke up this morning, you’re above the ground and not 6 feet under. As you are reading this you have access to a computer or smart phone, you are connected to the internet, so most likely you also have access to clean water and you have a roof over your head. You love and have loved ones, even if they’re not near, you know you are loved. Be loving and kind. Even to those that don’t deserve it. Maybe especially to those that don’t deserve it. Just a friendly hello and a genuine smile to a grumpy face, could brighten their day. But also check in on your friends once in a while, see how they are doing, and listen to what they say. Gratitude, kindness and love will go a long way.
Make the most of your life, because you only have one, and you don’t know when it’s too late.
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