Over the past year I have attended three different funerals of close family and friends. Three different occasions I saw those close to me mourn the loss of someone who left this world too soon. Three different moments of revelation of how fragile a life is and how quickly it can end. Three different experiences that brought me to my belief: knowledge, not only in facts or logic but in life experiences, is the most valuable, tangible, and rewarding piece of wealth that one can acquire in their life.
When my own last day comes, whether it’s tomorrow or a hundred years from tomorrow, and I look back and gauge my life I will measure it’s quality not on the amount of my material processions or acquaintances, not on the strength of my faith, and not on the quality of my love for my fellow mankind, for to me all these things are dependent on chance, or fate depending on what one believes. But rather, I will gauge the quality of my life on the depth of knowledge, experience, and understanding that my mind and soul have acquired along the way.
This very tough year has taught me to remember that I may never know what might happen tomorrow or how much time I have to live. These thoughts may be dark and morbid to some, but I have come to see them and use them as empowering ideas. For if I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I would attempt to do as many things that I’ve always wanted to do today. Thus, in my quest to acquire the greatest depth of knowledge I will hopefully come to the point that no matter what day happens to be my last, I will embrace it as simply a new experience and come to terms with it gracefully because I’ll know that I lived every day before it to the fullest extent possible.
Many times one of my elders will scold me or yell that I should “stop acting like I know everything.” Every time this happens I simply laugh inside. For if they truly knew me they would know that if I did know everything then I would undoubtedly be the most unhappy person on the face of this planet. To me, the unknown is the essence of life. I live for the unknown. I love the unknown, because the presence of the unknown always gives me something to live for.
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