“Life is so short,” Jasper said. He stared off into the distance. Sage words from a seven-teen-year old boy, who has his whole life before him. He turned his steel blue eyes toward me. A longing sadness filled his eyes and clouded his expression.
“It is, but the fact that you realize that now rather than when you are fifty is an opportunity for you to make the most of what you have,” I said. He ran his hand through his short dark brown hair.
“Don’t leave things unsaid, set goals, and clarify your priorities. You’ll be all right,” I said.
This isn’t the first conversation we have had about the end of life, and I’m sure it will not be the last. At least, I hope it is not. Jasper often thinks about death. Some may believe he shouldn’t dwell on something so negative. I disagree. The sooner you realize that you don’t have all the time in the world, the more you will strive to be exceptional now.
Immortality is great as an idea. Immortal beings crop up in many fantasy novels and we love them. How wonderful would it be to have immeasurable time to accomplish all we desire?
How many of the things that we hold dear would lose their value because they and we are infinite? You could put off learning to play the piano, writing a novel, camping with your children, and fishing with your dad until there was nothing remaining.
There are those that find the shadowy specter of death hovering in the fog of the future terrifying instead of inspiring. Rather than allowing the end to scare them into taking full advantage of the beauty and happiness before them, they shut themselves off from the world. Not taking risks, not venturing out of their comfort zone, they sit wasting away. They lock up the little life that they have in a safety deposit box. In doing so, they have already breathed their last breath.
Death is a gift, it places immeasurable value on each and every moment you have. Make them count.