Given the recent deaths of many known faces, I felt it necessary to remind us of what we can learn from our inevitable fates. Death is a scary subject, but why? The thought of one day losing your loved ones or embarking from your present life may sit in your stomach like a stone and send chills though your nerves.
You may not be here tomorrow. Anyone you interact with and see on a daily basis may not be here tomorrow. It is fact that many people living now will not be around the next day.
After the initial shock of fully realizing my own mortality, I have been teaching myself not to fear death. It is painfully difficult to accept, but I feel we must in order to appreciate life – and the word’s very meaning – wholly.
We are extremely lucky to be able to experience this complex array of emotions from love to hate to generosity and jealousy. As William Faulkner once said,
“Between grief and nothing I will take grief”
To be able to meet unique people of different colors and personalities, to see all the wonders and horrors we see, to even be given a chance at love and even loss is far greater than not to be able to experience it at all.
Your most valuable thing is not your house, your car, your mother’s ring, or even your children. Your most valuable thing is your life. Everything you know, love, and cherish falls under this. So instead of wasting your most valuable thing worrying about the inevitable, focus on how great it is to even have it at all!
Cherishing Life Now
If you’ve been taking your life for granted in the past, it’s not too late. I won’t tell you that you shouldn’t smoke cigarettes and that you should start exercising more, but I do highly recommend these things. However, living a healthy lifestyle is a separate topic plastered all over the internet already.
What I want to give you are some small, non-conventional ways for you to begin or to continue cherishing your life and focusing on the journey and not the final destination.
Laugh at Life
Laughing is a good medicine and great comedy keeps your mind down to Earth and in the present.
- Find a new comedian that you like (there are many out there!) and share them with your friends.
- Go to local comedy shows.
Be Silly and Have Fun
Life doesn’t have to be serious 24/7. You can do whatever you want with your most valuable possession so have fun with it.
- Write fake journal entries about crazy adventures you went on and the people you met.
- Mute the television and do voice-overs with your friends.
- For a day, dress as someone different, take a new identity, and visit a town where no one knows you.
Observe and Appreciate Beauty
- Sit in a public place and observe your surroundings. What kinds of people do you see? What are their lives like? What are they feeling?
- Notice different types of architecture, different color palettes in art, and how much work and thought was put into everything you see.
- Read up on the history of technology, art, or the country you live in. See how far we’ve come in such a short time. We’re still advancing.
Questioning the world around you can create appreciation for what is already here.
- Why do we do what we do?
- Why do we work?
- Why do we take photographs?
- Why do we celebrate?
- Find your identity and what makes you you.
- Take dozens of pictures of yourself doing anything anywhere and everywhere for a day. Don’t delete any of them and pick out only something you like in each.
- This may seem morbid, but write an obituary for yourself stating your accomplishments. This can help you realize how much you’ve done already and what you want to do in the future.
- Interview your friends and family and ask them what their favorite trait of yours is.
- Celebrate anything – big or small- like reaching a goal, getting a day off, making it to Friday, or just a nice and sunny day.
- Talk to people. We humans share the same world so share your life experiences. Have a conversation about anything, and dig deeper than the norm. Ask for their opinion, tell them what you know, and keep it flowing. The world is filled with endless conversation topics.
- Treat others as if they will be gone tomorrow. It is possible and unpredictable, so watch what you do and say and how you treat people and do not do anything you feel you will regret.
- Take in life through all five senses. Our senses are the doors we use to take in life as it is so take advantage of them and experience as many smells, feels, tastes, sights, and sounds as you can!