The Daily Man-Up

August 23, 2017 | No Comments » | Topics: Man-Up

We may not say it, but deep down we often act and behave like we’re invincible. Like we’re impervious to the trials and tribulations of mortality. That stuff happens to other people, not to ME. I have plenty of time left.

We forget how light our grip on life really is. How out of our hands it can be.

Otherwise, we wouldn’t spend so much time obsessing over trivialities, or trying to become famous, make more money than we could ever spend in our lifetime, or make plans far off in the future. All of these are negated by death. All these assumptions presume that death won’t affect us, or at least, not when we don’t want it to.

It doesn’t matter who you are or how many things you have left to be done, somewhere there is someone who would kill you for a thousand dollars or for a vial of crack or for getting in their way. A car can hit you in an intersection and drive your teeth back into your skull. That’s it. It will all be over. Today, tomorrow, someday soon. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

What is in our control? What we do with this moment right here, the one that is slip, slip, slipping away even as you read this.

It’s a cliché question to ask, What would I change about my life if the doctor told me I had cancer? After our answer, we inevitably comfort ourselves with the same insidious lie: Well, thank God I don’t have cancer.

But we do. The diagnosis is terminal for all of us. As the writer Edmund Wilson put it, “Death is one prophecy that never fails.” Every person is born with a death sentence. Each second, probability is eating away at the chances that we’ll be alive tomorrow; something is coming and you’ll never be able to stop it. Be ready for when that day comes.

Remember the serenity prayer: If something is in our control, it’s worth every ounce of our efforts and energy. Death is not one of those things—it is not fully in our control how long we will live or what will come and take us from life. So we should focus on life, not on silly plans to live forever, or on fear or worry about death. We should focus on living the second in front of us right now, while we still have it.

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