john - tewksbury, Massachusetts
Entered on October 31, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

What is life? How do you value it against others? What makes a good life? The way I see it, is simple. Life is what you make of it. I feel that life needs to be enjoyed everyday, and to its fullest. Of all the goals a people usually set for themselves, money, power, intellect, they are sub goals in the greatest thing we all possess, life.

Life creates 2 kinds of people. 1st are the people who let life happen to them. They do what their told, always preparing for the next step, whether that is college, a new job or retirement. But I ask you this, what is it that they are preparing for? There is this cookie cutter pattern that every child is taught to follow, go to high school, then college, get a job, make money, have a family, then retire. By our governments standard that is not until you are 65.How are you supposed to enjoy yourself at 65? I don’t know many 65 year olds who can hike the application trail, or out in the rain forest, or ski the back country in the Alps. What this all leads to, is the fact that you can’t take your money with you. People need to realize that life is meant to be lived. You can save all you want but like a state trooper said to me in a road rage class “when you’re dead you’re dead”.

The 2nd kind of person is the kind that tries to experience it all, travel the world take in as much as they can to enrich their life experience. This is how I believe we are meant to live. Considering that no one knows how long they have left on this world. Everyday should be treasured. I came to this conclusion when my neighbor passed away suddenly from a heart attack he was 42.

Death is a hard idea to deal with for most people, especially when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly like it did with my neighbor. It makes people do things they normally wouldn’t. When I heard the news I was stunned, I sat down to think hard about life in general, the silence was so loud I thought my head was going to explode. It made me realize the mortality of this world, and that everything only has a set amount of time. That there won’t always be a tomorrow, so you should experience as much life as possible. And most importantly enjoy yourself.

Once you start comparing the value of one’s life against another’s by what experiences they have had. Things like money and material possessions become less important. People stop trying to become the talentless ego driven celebrities in Hollywood. They start valuing a good conversation over an expensive gift. And with more and more people, trying to better their lives, it is not hard to see how society in general will improve. All of this if only people filled their lives enriching them rather then wasting them. Life is what you make of it.