Life is fleeting. Unfortunately our community has experienced the reality of that statement too much in the last couple of weeks. Itís easy to realize the temporary nature of life, and to just break down.
But does anybody stop and feel themselves lucky just to be born?
When tragedies occur, or when life doesnít go our way, itís easy to get caught up in those ideas: nothing really matters in the end, everything is for naught, and in 100 years most of us will be completely forgotten. So whatís the point?
Iíve struggled with the reality of this, but Iíve tried to take a new approach and mindset. Yes, everything dies, and everyone is sad about it. But is anybody equally as happy just to be born?
Itís a glass half-empty, half-full type of deal. To be ruined by death is to feel entitled to be alive. But why do we feel like we are owed a place on this planet? Rather than being ecstatic and grateful to be here in the first place, a lot of people spend their time on this earth terrified and frightened with the idea that they will eventually die.
I was reading I, Me, Mine, the George Harrison biography that my aunt gave to me, and in it thereís a quote where George says, ďEverybody is worried about dying, but the cause of death (which most canít figure out unless they are diseased) is birth, so if you donít want to die then you donít get to be born!Ē
We as humans cannot get caught up in the fact that we will die, because it takes away from what weíre able to do while we are here. If we walk around with heads-down, dragging our feet, dreading death, then we might as well be dead anyways.
Why not look around with wonder and amazement at the present moment? Weíve heard the old clichť Ďstop and smell the roses,í and as cheesy as it sounds, thatís exactly what we should be doing with our time on Earth. Tomorrowís never guaranteed.
But rather than that idea breaking us, instead it should motivate us to be thankful for the present moment; to seize the day as it is.
One of my favorite songs is In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by a band called Neutral Milk Hotel. Itís a song about reaping everything positive you can on Earth, despite the fact that ďone day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea. (But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.)Ē
Itís a very simple, four-chord song, but it has had a lasting impact on me. The song ends with the line, ďCanít believe how strange it is to be anything at all.Ē
That sort of childlike wonder is one that we should all be carrying with us, regardless of our age. Life on Earth has existed for 3.5 billion years, and for some reason, we are here, right now, in this moment. Seems pretty lucky to me.