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Let's Think About Life

by Kaitlynn Mixter 3 months ago in humanity
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The Art of Living

Why are we here?

This is the age old question. One asked thousands of different times by different people and has a million different answers.

I think it's the wrong question.

Does it really matter WHY we're here?

Some questions are better left unanswered or are utterly unanswerable.

This is one of those questions.

Yet, people still want to know. People still ask.

Maybe this is because once we learn the why of human existence we can being to answer some of the other unanswerable questions.

Why do we suffer? Why do we feel? Why do we love or hate?

Sometimes we can never know why.

But here is what we know for certain:

You are alive.

Despite the absolutely astronomical odds against the possibility of you, as an individual, existing, you are here.

That is a fact.

Now, the question is, what will you do with your life?

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." -Oscar Wilde.

That quote might be extremely cliche, but setting that issue aside, it is entirely true.

We wake up and go about our days simply existing- forgetting to actually live.

"When I met him,

he was 85 and heavy with wrinkles.

Just another victim of time.

Just another wheelchair occupier

in a game of musical chairs with death.

Another nursing home resident,

waiting to leave

but not expecting to walk out.

An old encyclopedia of knowledge

that no one wanted to read anymore.

"Hello!" he said.

He showed off his broken picket fence smile

As his trembling hand pointed to the vacant seat beside him.

"Would you like to join me?" he asked.

I agreed.

Exchanged his smile for one of mine

and occupied the lonely chair beside him.

But I'm not gonna lie,

The concept of dying gets me a little paranoid inside

and I start questioning everything.

Like why do nursing homes look a lot like asylums from the inside?

And are those pills for them to live longer or die quicker?

When are you going to die?

When will I be joining you?

How gentle will death be when he comes for us?

How depressed will our bodies feel the day our soul decides to leave us for the last time?

I've never seen death.

No, I've never seen death.

By the look on his aged face,

I imagine death comes here often

and stays way past visiting hours.

That death is the reason for the earthquakes in his hand and the stagnancy in his legs.

The reason why the seat was vacant when I arrived.

The reason why his seat will soon be, too.

We are all gonna die some day,

It is inevitable.

Regardless of your race, age, gender or sexual orientation,

Not even the rich can buy time.

But as I sat there and soaked in all the wisdom from this elders words,

I realized that there are two ways of dealing with this truth.

You can either leave here today, forget I ever recited this poem

and go on living your life hoping that God is counting his seconds in Mississippi's.

Or you can except the expected

and check off doing the things you love from your checklist.

You only live once

and there isn't enough time to be wasted in complaining.

So make every moment count.

Realize that every gasp you take is one less breath.

That every tick-tock from every clock is one second less.

So live,

Like there are no Mondays on your calendar

Like every day is a Holiday.

Cherish every moment knowing that moment will never happen again.

Cherish this moment.

Find beauty in the things you hate

Until they become the things you love.


Like you're not evening being jailed in a nursing home,

Guilty for being too old,

Can't stop you from smiling.

Never stop smiling.

When I met him,

He seemed 35 in an old man's costume

A wise king with a wheelchair for a throne,

An elder that taught me it's not about having the best,

But about making the best of what you have,

And I don't know about you,

But I'd rather die knowing that I lived,

Than to live knowing I already died."

-Living While Dying: Herrison Chicas

I heard this poem when I was 16 and indestructible. You know the feeling.

Like you're going to live forever. The world is at your feet.

Then, just a year later, I learned that that was not the case.

I found myself in the ICU at 17 and for completely natural reasons. The doctors struggled to determine what was wrong with me and they explicitly stated that if I had waited another 20 minutes, I wouldn't have made it there alive.

If we know that we're alive, the other guarantee is that we are going to die.

But they kind of go hand in hand, don't they?

What would life be without death?

People say they wish they could live forever, but I think that's really the fear of the unknown talking. Imagine the monotony. The daily routine a forever constant. Would anything be beautiful? How do you enjoy life without the knowledge of death?

"The gods envy us. They envy us because we are mortal, because any moment could be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again," Homer, The Iliad.

Look at the person next to you now, or think of someone you know. Their life is limited. They will never be here again. And they are beautiful.

The same goes for you. And me. And everyone else walking this Earth with us.

We don't have a guaranteed amount of time.

Because of that limitation, I challenge you to live. Really, truly, live. Don't just go about your day existing, dreaming your life away.

Do something. Something that makes you feel alive. Truly alive.

And if you can't, find the joy in the small things. Be thankful for every second- even the miserable ones.

I promise, you'll be better for it.


About the author

Kaitlynn Mixter


Writing has been a passion of mine for roughly twelve years. Within that time, I have never had the courage to make my stories public, however, this site has given me the boost I need to take action.

I hope you enjoy!

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