The good and the bad, the rich and the poor, and the wise and the foolish all have something in common: mortality. Death is not prejudice towards anyone, and although sometimes it may seem that only the good die young, tomorrow is promised to no one. The fact that a person can be living one day and die the next for some obscure cause, leads me to my belief in the Latin phrase carpe diem, to “seize the day.” It is essential that people truly appreciate what they have, for there are many less fortunate out there. It is essential that people make use of their opportunities, for there are many who are not granted these same opportunities. It is essential that people make use of their time, because for all we know, today could be our last day. It is needless to dwell in the past and unnecessary to think into the untrusting future, but it is absolutely critical to live with thoughtfulness in the present.
Three events occurred in my life so far that have greatly altered my outlook on life. First, were the events that took place on 9/11. This series of coordinated suicide attacks left approximately 3,000 men and women dead; undoubtedly one of the grimmest days in American history. I’m sure that not one of these people went into work expecting they would not see the light of day again, but unfortunately this was so. The next event was that of the recent and unexpected car accident that killed three teenager boys and one older woman. People are dying every day from car-accidents and it is becoming more apparent in the paper week by week. The truth is, people think that they are invincible until the unexpected moment comes where there life is in serious danger. The third event occurred late this summer, where all in a matter of a few days, my perfectly healthy and active sister was diagnosed with a rare heart condition that left her with the permanent implantation of a small device called a defibrillator. Only an estimated one in five thousand people are affected with this condition; my sister unfortunately, one of them. The point I am trying to make clear, is that people do not know when or how they are going to die and it’s not the amount of time one spends on this earth, but it’s how well they utilize their time. As summed up by Abraham Lincoln, “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Together, these events acted as an epiphany to my once very closed-minded self. I believe that people should live every day to the fullest because life has the potential to be too short. My dad once said something to me that I take into account everyday, and that is that when people die, nothing is brought with them; not their money, not their jewels, nothing. But it is the memories and knowledge of the world they once lived that will forever remain in their soul as well as their service they have done for their community that people will remember in the future. I live my life in such a way that If I am given an opportunity to visit a foreign country or do something that a person does not do on a regular basis, I take up this offer. A person has all the time in the world to rest once dead, but it is the experiences gained through life that leave a lasting impression.
My belief and agreement of the Latin phrase carpe diem is reflected in my every-day life and it is a personal philosophy of mine that guides me. Now I am not trying to persuade you to live your life the way I live mine, rather I am emphasizing my belief that people should truly seize the day, hang on to the moment, and not waste time away. From the wise words of Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Time is very valuable, this I believe.
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