You’re dying, and you have been for a while.
Sorry to remind you, but you are.
If it makes you feel any better, I am too.
Once we’re born, we start dying – not actively, but the process begins. The nine-month building crescendo of birth culminates in one final, disgusting finale, and then you’re out. But then, the dying begins.
I don’t bring this up to depress you, but to remind you and put things into perspective. Life is wonderful, and with any luck, life is long. You’re free to do what you want for the decades you’re alive, and then after that, I don’t really know – but I don’t think it’s much.
But knowing that you’re dying from the moment you hit the hospital air, that should change things. Your time is finite, so you really should give due consideration to what fills up that time. I’m not going to tell you that your life has been a waste. I would never deign to do so. Who is to say what a life should be? Certainly not some random, happily morbid, bald writer online.
However, what you do having full knowledge of your looming demise says everything about you. Do you spend your time in search of something greater than yourself?
Not God, that’s definitely not what I mean. No, no, no. But if you do, that’s certainly something.
I mean do you actually attempt to understand others outside yourself? Do you listen to other people when they talk, or are you waiting for your turn to speak? Do you raise people up?
Or are you constantly complaining? Are you self-absorbed? Are you critical of others with little introspective skills to speak of?
We’re dying, you know this. Why not raise others up? Why not let people know what they mean to you, what they mean to their world? The world is bigger than you.
In fact, you’re the least interesting thing in this world. So am I.
Spending your life wholly convinced that you’re the most important and interesting person you know, that’s the waste of time. Self-love is one thing, but self-interest is a whole different kettle of fish. What we have in common with everyone is that we’re all biding our time while death slowly approaches.
And so, rather than spending your time up your own ass, step outside yourself. It’s so easy to forget that others are struggling with the same things you are, that everyone is as clueless as you. There’s such wisdom in admitting you don’t know much, and even more wisdom in seeking out more knowledge. Even if that knowledge is how someone else feels, that’s knowledge outside yourself. I won’t say that it’s “everything,” but, if you’re not tuned into others, you’re tuned into yourself.
Look outside yourself, understand other people. You’re only the person behind your eyes, you’re not the keystone of your world. Never forget that you’re no more important than anyone else.
I’m asking you to think of your own death from time to time. Then, think about what fills your time. When you die, will you be happy you spent your time this way?
I can only hope so.