“One clear moment, one of trance
One missed step, one perfect dance
One missed shot, one and only chance
Life is all…but one fleeting glance.”
— Sanober Khan
We all know very well that life is short. One never knows what is going to happen in the next moment. And yet, we spend most our times procrastinating. We keep delaying what we have always wanted to do because we have become used to the routine and are too scared or lazy to get out of that comfort zone. Most of us essentially are the Vladimir and Estragon, of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, engaged in a meaningless activity without giving it a thought; merely existing and not living.
And thus when a dying 24-year old wrote on a Reddit thread about life, we couldn’t help but notice its poignancy. This anonymous post was written by a man who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. And he admitted the fact that the realization that life is transient came to him only after he got to know about his fatal illness. He wrote quite a long post. Here are some excerpts:
“I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion”
“… I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions.”
“When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important.”
He also gave a list of some dos and don’ts:
- Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
- It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
- Take control of your life Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate. Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
- Appreciate the people around you Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.
He then continues: “We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.”
He further wrote that although he knows that he is going to die soon he is not upset. Rather he now understands that the last days of his life has become meaningful.
In his post, he leaves us with a choice — whether to “float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour, or fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life.”
Do not waste your time chasing the wrong people or goals in fields which do not interest you at all. Stop living a meaningless life. Make every day count. Do what you love and love what you do. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them. Life is too short to make the same mistake twice. Live and love.
There is so much to learn from the people who are on their deathbed. We must take this writing at heart to realize that it is real! We are going to die one day, and what we must leave a trail, something the world will remember us about. It doesn’t have to be the world, it can be to only one person, and that will have ripple effect all around.
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