Not so long ago your humble scribe penned a most insightful tome entitled “The High Cost Of Living.” An astute and prepossessing piece, I labored through its composition to express with eloquence the weight of our every action and their attendant consequences. I wish now to revisit the same subject matter, but this time from a slightly different perspective. (Accuse me of repeating myself if you must; it is a charge I shall in no wise repudiate. Yes, the topic is THAT important to me.)
Barring a total governmental usurpation of this nation’s private healthcare system, one might, with modern preventative medical care, deliberate nutrition, sufficient exercise, and efficacious stress release, expect to easily live to the age of 100 and even beyond. (This is not at all an unreasonable assertion. There are great sages of the past who have proffered that the human body is by design constructed to live a minimum of 125 years, but that is another topic for another time.) Rather than surrendering to the storms of Life, there are those who will not only fight for every breath, every moment, but who will endeavor to fill those moments with thoughts and experiences and actions that make lLife worth the living. Which brings us to a point (or two) well worth pondering.
Thinking solely in terms of quantity rather than quality, and taking into account the averment made in the preceding paragraph, best case scenario: how long will you be alive? If, as you read this, you find you have reached the quarter-century mark and, for the sake of our discussion, you accept that the ripe old age of 100 is, in fact, within the realm of achievement, then basic mathematics dictates you have roughly 75 years of Life remaining in the here-and-now. Not that bad, I suppose. There are some who have never made it even close to the 75 years you hypothetically have left.
Now, let us bring forward for consideration a second best case scenario: how long will you be dead? Arguments of reincarnation put aside, it would not be unreasonable to proffer an answer for this second question to accurately be “forever.” Comparing and contrasting the duration of best case scenario One with that of best case scenario Two, would it not be prudent to get as much out of scenario One as is humanly possible prior to entering scenario Two?
Returning to the 75 year figure mentioned above (for you more seasoned folks reading this, the following should carry an even greater weight), I should remind you that there are no guarantees. Sure, you MIGHT have 75 years left or 65 years or 50 years or 25 years, all, of course, depending on your current chronological situation, general health, and all the other previously mentioned factors. Or you might suffer the misfortune several weeks from now of expiring as the result of injuries sustained from being trampled by a stampeding herd of flash-mobbing teenagers. Or you might be the victim of an undiagnosed cardiac malady and drop dead of heart failure before you finish reading this sentence. So I ask once again, best case scenario, how long will you live? Best case scenario, how long will you be dead?
In the overarching architecture of it all, even 100 years is less than the most fleeting moment when juxtaposed against Eternity. If, in death, the best case scenario that can be hoped for is, at the very least, everlasting, should this not give one pause to design and experience a Life as devoid of pain and sorrow as possible? One characterized by a vital existence, challenging, engaging, fulfilling and, above all, overflowing in Beauty?
Reject a willing servitude and find that which makes your Heart sing. Cause no harm and do what you will. Love the Mother Earth and all Her children. Become more than you feel you are, more than you think you can be. When presented with a choice between Life-affirming and Life-negating, choose that which will amplify most your Great Desire.
There are those nihilists who will say, when presented with some conundrum or other, 100 years from now it won’t matter anyway. I say, 100 years from now, what I do in this moment or the next or the next will be of the gravest importance. The best case scenario allows for nothing else.
©Billy Red Horse