Heard this lyric on the radio “Let’s live like we’re dying”.
Now, far be it from me to disagree with American Idol’s Kris Allen… Actually, I take great joy in disagreeing with anything or anyone that rises out of that show.
Maybe we need a very real dose of living like we’re living. In other words, why not embrace the reality that, on average, each of us will spend 70 or so years on this planet. As recent events have shown, we are overly obsessed with our ending. Frankly, when “the end” comes, it will probably occur quite suddenly and violently. And there isn’t a thing you or I or the billions who have preceded us and will come after us can do about it. So, what’s the use?
Imagine the paradigm shift that comes with a feeling of immediacy and responsibility; the realization that you’re going to be here for a while, so why not make this a nice place for you and everyone else to spend time? Suddenly, instead of looking forward to the inevitability of the ending, you can embrace the possibilities of right here and now. Your actions can have a positive effect on those around you and can be just as “permanent” as a physical memorial. What you do affects those around you – so why not have a positive effect? If you live with a respect for where you are at any given point, it has to be a much more productive way of living than wallowing in the certainty of your demise. And maybe we could finally dispose of this useless pursuit of material gain for its own sake. Live comfortably, but not ostentatiously. Give of yourself. Allow others to give to you. Share. Collaborate. Experience. Make mistakes, and for your own sake, learn from them. Do interesting things that make you uncomfortable. Help others do interesting things that might make them uncomfortable. Treat life with the respect it deserves. Understand. Adapt. Pursue. Relax. Study. And definitely play.
Of course, like anything, this perspective is open to abuse. You don’t have to become a hedonist to fully embrace the idea of living for the love of it. In fact, hedonism runs counter to the ideal. Hedonism may be appealing, but is ultimately selfish.
So, Harold Camping and Kris Allen and everyone who sees life as a means to an end rather than embracing the journey… I invite you to get a life. Literally.