The moment we were conceived in the womb, the clock started ticking. The count down to our deaths began, and with death an ever present possibility in each and every second, do we live each day as if it were our last?
Do we anticipate death? Do we even want to think about death? Death is such a sensitive topic for the most part of our society that only a few actually talk about it. It’s like a taboo or “no-no” to delve in such discussions in any given situation. But if people were given only a week left to live, would they still deny it? Would they still avoid the topic? Would they not plan ahead and reprioritize their whole life and maybe change their way of thinking? Death is an eye opener, a wake up call. One that has the ability to change one’s perspective of things—even if for a short while.
There are many instances in my life that I anticipated death. Most of which are quite short lived, due to the fact that it takes a great amount of effort to actually live your life as if it were your last. I have been so accustomed to living such a carefree life that to actually change my paradigm of thinking and way of life is quite a bit of a hassle. I’m not saying that living one’s life to the fullest is not a good idea, by all means no. But, what I’m basically trying to say is that it is easier said than done.
In those times that I anticipated death, I either feared it or wanted it. Feared it because of all the unfinished business and unfulfilled wishes I have; and wanted it because of my lack of motivation and simply not caring anymore. Of course, actualization of death is quite a foolish idea and/or action because it cuts my life short, rendering all my potentials and possibilities worthless and unattainable. With that in mind, I’m not so sure whether wanting death could be considered as anticipating it. But one thing’s for sure, anticipating death changes my way of thinking. It changes my whole outlook on life.
I realized that the things I gave importance to, or allocated most of my time in,were apparently not that important at all. They were empty and meaningless. They may be enjoyable now, but in the long run, their value is of no use. It doesn’t have any long term positive side effects and all of its benefits are short term and temporary. So what exactly am I talking about? I’m speaking of playing video games, watching TV, surfing the web, etc. Don’t get me wrong, these are great ways to unwind from all the stress and to relax, but to actually give them a higher importance over things that actually matters is quite foolish and retarded. Doing those things won’t build a positive character in me; they’d just make me all the lazier. So what are the things that matters? Not to sound cliché or anything but, God, family, values, relationships,health, studies, and things that build a positive character. Those are the things that truly matters in life—in my opinion at least.
During those times, I felt like I could do anything. I felt pumped up and psyched to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. I greeted random strangers good morning and even tried to start a conversation with one. It’s like time is of the essence and nothing is impossible. At times, I shared the Gospel and encouraged other people. I was excited to do all the relational stuff and just step up. What I didn’t do though was do better in my studies. I don’t know, I just wasn’t as excited with studies as I am with people. I exercised though and that felt good. I know I should do better in my studies and I will, I’m just taking things bit by bit. Honestly speaking, it feels good to go out there and live my life, I feel like I levelled up or something. So much better than wanting to actualize death.
Anticipating death changes things, it affects my choices and priorities. I was quite a shy person and one with a very low self-esteem; but now, I’m overcoming that bit by bit. Life is too short to worry over what people think of you. I can’t please everyone and that’s a fact, so why should I be bothered by what they think? Aslong as I’m not doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, I shouldn’t be ashamed. I should live my life to the fullest and live it all for the glory of God.
Life is full of choices and each one has an impact on our future and that of others.If we didn’t examine each possibility before making a decision, we may end uphaving a ton of regrets at the end of our lives. Direction, not intention, determines destination. We may want this, we may want that, but if we don’t take the necessary steps to achieve our goals, we will never reach it. If I realize the true value of things, but never do anything about it, it’s pointless. It would’ve just passed me by and I would’ve lost the opportunity. Treasure those that matters most. Treasure your mom, your dad, your siblings,your friends, your loved ones, your spouse, etc. Do it while you still can, because death is always a possibility and, as they say, you never know what you have until it’s gone. Regret is always at the end, so make sure to, as much as possible, live your life without regrets. The decisions we make today determines the stories we tell tomorrow.
People say that everyone’s life is just a single drop of water in a vast limitless ocean. It’s quite a pessimistic kind of perspective on life, but it is somewhat true. Everyone’s individual existence may seem insignificant due to the billionsof people living on earth. So with that in mind, how would I live my life if I found out that I only have a week left to live?
For the first few days, I would like to gratify my selfish ambitions. I would liketo bungee jump, skydive, jetski, kayak, wild river rafting, mountain climb and other extreme and adrenaline pumping activities. For the remaining days, I would like to tell my parents how important they are to me and how they have always been an inspiration and a blessing to me. How much I appreciate them and how sorry I am for not telling them so before. I would also like to confess my affection to the woman I love and if possible, marry her. If she didn’t reciprocate my affection then that’s okay, at least I was able to finally tell her. I would encourage my friends and tell them it will be alright and that I’m ready to die. We might hangout just one last time too. For my final days, I would go outside and spread the Gospel to my friends and family and even to people I don’t know. Finally, I’ll give my life away saving someone—whether by donating body parts or catching a bullet. And as I lay there dying, with a smile on my face, I want my last words to be: “Even if my life is nothing but just a single drop, every drop of water leaves ripples.”