Five days ago I had my birthday party. I was kinda’ looking forward to it specially because it’s not often that I get to see some of my best friends.
All the gifts where great, but one of them made me think that we have a “delta” life span on this earth and it matters how we “experience it”. More precisely it was a book voucher, so I went and bought three books. One of them was “Gratitude” by Oliver Sacks and it contained four essays written right after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude…. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
Ever since he was a little kid he was fascinated with chemical elements and he used to identify himself with them or used to offer them as a gift to his friends.
This was a little bit unsettling, and I wondered why I decided to buy a book about death, after all it was a joyous occasion. I also remembered that I have done this in the past. Approximately one year and for month ago my wife got meningitis after she gave birth to our daughter, Sabina. I was a mess and I realized that I could lose her. Now everybody experiences a traumatic situation differently and I’m pretty sure that she suffered the most, but at that time I thought that I could heal myself by reading a book on the matter. As I read Christopher Hitchens, Mortality somehow the words “we are born into a loosing struggle” stuck with me. So I went on a walk to make sense of all this. As I went for a stroll I remembered Sam Harris “mindfulness moment” in memory of his friend Hitch:
But the one thing people tend to realize at moments like this is that they wasted a lot of time when life was normal. It’s not just what they did with their time. It’s not just that they spent too much time working or compulsively checking e-mail. It’s that they cared about the wrong things. They were correct (??) what they cared about. Their attention was bound up in petty concerns year after year when life was normal. And this is a paradox, of course, because we all know this epiphany is coming. Don’t you know this is coming? Don’t you know that there’s going to come a day when you’ll be sick or someone close to you will die and you’ll look back on the kinds of things that capture your attention and you’ll tend to “what was I doing?” You know this, and yet if you’re like most people you’ll spend most of your time in life tacitly presuming you’ll live forever.
There is a reoccurring theme here. In light of inevitable death there are often regrets, one often wonders what could have happened if it choose X instead of Y or how much time was spent worrying, or giving to much attention to the wrong things…..
On my Selenium birthday I found out that I have a lot of goals, dreams and I must live your file to the fullest.
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha