This I Believe

Christopher - Golden, Colorado
Entered on May 8, 2007

My Response to Living a Half Live

The question has been posed, what motivates the sky diver, the climber, the adrenaline junkie, Jamie Pierre (the man who holds the world record for furthest free falling ski jump off of a cliff), and he or she who embraces life and people without guile or question. All of these have one thing in common; they live life to the fullest extent and without regret or self doubt. All of them live in the moment!

Everyday produces THE opportunity. The opportunity may present itself differently, but is replete with possibilities. Everyday is a chance to live without fear or regret of what has happened, as opposed to what is actually happening. This I believe, that everyday should be lived, as if you were to die the next.

My whole life has been a giant test of this belief. Many people have told me “you’re dumb” or “that’s stupid” but, that didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted. The problem with those people that critiqued me is, they don’t love life as much as I do.

I had climbed a tree, in the middle of a class period. We had been given a five minute break. I decided to use my five minutes to get above it all, and I on my own. When I was 50ft up, and at the top, I could see everything and as soon as I had the feeling of accomplishment, the bell rang. My classmates could now see me and said various things about me, all of which were negative, but that changed nothing. I was the only one who had that epiphany. I don’t do things for attention I do them for self-benefit.

My best friend was a person who embraced life and people openly with love and unbridled enthusiasm. He had latter taken his own life. He committed what some people call “random acts of kindness”, but to people who knew him best, they were acts of kindness. In fact they weren’t random at all. Up until the day he died he continued to live life with love and as if each day were his last. This aspect of my friend serves as an example of what I believe.

I ski with abandon. My friends all caution me, that I could get hurt, or even die. This fear doesn’t impact my decision; when I am in the air, everything is worth it. I feel like I’m flying and that normal gravity doesn’t apply. If I were to die doing what I love, it would be worth it; at least I would not have lived, like so many people,

. a “half-life”.

Sometimes I wonder what other people think about me, but I soon realize that it doesn’t matter. Because I try my best to live my life void of regret, sadness, and self-recrimination, I am able to feel more alive than most. I look for excitement so that if I were in fact to die tomorrow, I would feel that I had fulfilled my craving for adventure.

The question can indeed be answered, sky diver jumps, that the climber climbs, the adrenaline junkie seeks, Jamie Pierre jumps, and the embracer of life loves, because they too have learned that the most important lesson in life. It is to live in the moment and not in the past. My question to you is, how would you live today if you knew you would die tomorrow?