Death is everywhere.
On planet Earth, there are around 7000 deaths per hour.
We have all experienced death, from a distance or someone very close to us. Death is omnipresent but somewhat, it’s difficult to conceive that it could also happen to us. I guess it’s human nature – we know we will die one day, but we aren’t inclined to consider seriously the possibility of life ending. Death is just a very, very distant moment.
Or is it?
- In the US, 1 in 7 die from heart disease and cancer.
- 1 in 28 die of chronic lower respiratory diseases.
Oh wait, you’re healthy, active, and eat well? Unfortunately, you’re not immune to death either:
- 1 in 109 die of unintentional poisoning.
- 1 in 112 die of motor vehicle crash.
- 1 in 704 die because of a pedestrian incident.
Even the most benign things can lead us to our death:
- Falling coconuts cause 150 deaths annually.
- Champagne corks kill 24 people annually.
- 6000 people die from tripping and falling each year.
- 3000 people die by choking on their food.
Can you imagine stupidly dying like that?
We can take all the precautions we want, live in a sterile and safe environment, but we can still die anytime. It’s part of life.
In fact, from the moment we are born, we are all dying. Some of us will beat the odds and die at the age of 122 years and 164 days, like Jeanne Calment (she met Vincent Van Gogh when she was 12 or 13!!!). Most of us will live on average 79 years. Some of us will die at birth.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a preprogrammed death. We can’t either purchase years of life, like in the movie In Time, with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, where people stop aging at 25 years old and can “buy” more time to live. (Really good movie by the way!) The reality is that we can’t chose the moment of our death…nor our birth.
But we do have one choice: we can choose how to live life from we day we’re born until the day we die. That’s why we need to live every moment like it’s our last one. Imagine that tomorrow when you wake up, you will be dead. How can you make today the most glorious day?
What would you do if today was your last day?
Will you spend the day feeling sad for whatever futile reason? Will you complain? Will you find joy in every single moment? Will you admire the sunshine, the rain, the snow or whatever the weather is? Will you thank people more than you usually do? Will you pick up the phone and talk to that family member or friend that you “never have the time” to talk to?
What will you do if today was your last day on earth? Of course, you will enjoy every second, open your eyes to everything around you and find joy in things that you took for granted until now.
I, for sure, will start by taking a walk outside and experience all the human senses: feel the wind on my face, admire the colours all around, hear children laugh and birds chirp and smell all the flowers I can find (anyways I always do that when nobody’s looking!). Then I’ll pick up the phone and thank the people that make a difference in my life and tell them how amazing they are. I’ll cook something really delicious, like some delicious thai cuisine, invite all my friends and family and have a dinner together, laughing and talking. I don’t want it to be like in the movies (and in real life too): it’s always too late when you realize that you should have spent more time with your loved ones and taken greater care of them.
It’s the simple things that make life amazing. And it’s the simplest things that are the easiest to forget how to enjoy.
Oh and I would also quit my job and stop exercising (too much effort).
Just joking! Enjoying life as if every moment was our last one doesn’t mean that we should all quit our jobs and eat chocolate all day long. The fun wouldn’t last anyways. We can still do the things we have to do, but approach everything with a different attitude. For example, going to school or to work can be a privilege and an opportunity!
Living our lives fully is also daring to do things that we always wanted to try. You’ve never dared to participate in a particular competition because you’re too afraid you might fail? Who cares, just do it! You’ve always wanted to be a part of a TV show audience? Do it!
Live like you’ve never lived before!
In conclusion, no, you aren’t safe at all from dying. But you have been given the gift of life, so it is your duty to live every moment like it was your last one.
And also, let’s not forget that life is all about sharing a wonderful experience with others. There are many wonderful things we can do, not only for ourselves but also for others – and with others. Be happy, spread your happiness to those around you and laugh as much as you can!