What Do You Live For Today?

Just re-read my favourite fiction “Tuesdays with Morrie” and learned about ALS all over again. This was a disease that Mitch Albom had already written about back in 1997, something that I had brushed aside back in 2010 when I first read it, yet I only learned about ALS again only this year after watching the Ice Bucket challenges. Now reading it again makes me understand why the book moved me so much.

I seem to think about death and accept it more than the people I know… it’s a little morbid, but books like “The Last Lecture” is a personal favourite. Cried like a bitch in the cinema watching “If I Stay”… Here’s a memorable quote from Mitch Albom:

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

I can’t say I’ve ever came close to dying other than almost getting hit by a car, but it made me realise what #YOLO really stands for. We know that we’re all going to die, but we just don’t know when.

What is better? To know when you are going to leave so you have some time to say goodbye, or suddenly leave having completed the things you wanted to do? Either way, it still sucks to have to leave our loved ones behind and slowly fade from their lives. We never really accept death and no one really lives everyday thinking that “i might die today”, even though the most unthinkable events could really happen to us. The over-thinker in me has a silly fear of dying a stupid death by falling coconut or something…

My adapted interpretation of the quote is  “Once you’ve seen the dark side of hell, you’ll appreciate any tiny bit of sunshine.” I guess it’s almost the same logic. Once you learn there is no escaping death, you’ll start to appreciate every single living moment you have left. For me, I’ve seen worse days so I’ve learned to be thankful for dull days even when nothing is exactly good or bad. One of the most underrated blessings in life is being well. We don’t know how lucky we are to be agile and moving until we get injured. We don’t usually realise how loved we are by others until they are gone. Like what nigahiga said,  we tend to treat people nicer when we know they are going to die… maybe we should treat everyone like they are dying (which we all are).

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
– Tuesdays with Morrie

That’s why, sometimes, I ask myself whether I’ve lived each day to the fullest, to the best that is possible. I question if I’ve expressed love and kindness in my daily interaction with my special loved ones, including people I meet and see on the street (for everyone is fighting a tough battle on their own). Do I need another post to explain why I was excited about working on the idea of LoveByte? There can never be enough love.

Love each other or perish. Love wins. Love always wins.

“My father was very simple, but everyone respected him. The former president of India came to his funeral, even though we weren’t a wealthy or powerful family. Everyone saw my father as a peacemaker. Whenever there was a fight, he’d put himself in the middle and beg for it to stop. Once there were two groups of men fighting, and my father ran over to break up the fight. Someone threw a stone and it accidentally hit my father in the head. He was so respected, that as soon as the stone hit him, everyone went calm.” (New Delhi, India) Humans of New York

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, “Love is the only rational act.”

Lyrics from one of my favourite Ronan Keating songs “If Tomorrow Never Comes”..

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you’re thinking of
If tomorrow never comes

It has become super cliche by now, but this is what #YOLO means to me. As I write this, I’m feeling super blessed and loved by the important people around me. I’m learning everyday not to take them for granted. It’s a conscious decision to stay happy and take control of my life.

As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you’d always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative that you’re going to die, it’s the positive that you understand you’re going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.

The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own. 

You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue. If you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more.

I no longer dream about fast-forwarding my life, and now look forward to learning new things every day and making sure my limited time on Earth is worthwhile. 🙂 There’s no rush to grow old… keep calm and enjoy the ride.

P.S. Finally compiled my top 10 favourite books after so much procrastination! Must practise more Carpe Diem!

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