Live Until You Die

Matthew - West Chicago, Illinois
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe in living life to the fullest. My father’s philosophy on life is to work hard and to play harder. You need to really work hard if you want to play hard, too. You need to enjoy life. I know too many people who are afraid of death and, by extension, living life. If you live in fear of death you are often afraid to take risks that make life exciting and enjoyable. People worry too much, and they don’t take the time to stop and smell the roses. Three people have taught me this: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, and Epicurus the philosopher.

Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred in the movie The Bucket List. In the movie both of them are old and dying cancer patients. They make a list of things that they have always wanted to do before they kicked the bucket. They managed to finish most of the list before they died…and one after they died. They skydived, saw the pyramids, raced cars, and many more things that most people never get to do. They were dying, but they were not sad. They knew how long that they had and did everything that they could do in that time. Like them I don’t fear death.

Epicurus once said, “Death, the most dreaded of all evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist.” This was the first quote of his that I ever found. Since then, this quote has sunk in and eliminated my fear of dying. I feel free now that I no longer fear the oblivion that awaits me when my last breath leaves. People should learn to not fear death; it only weakens them and keeps them from truly living. The philosophy of Epicurus was pretty much about living life as best you can and making the world better for those around us and those who come after us. He says that it is our duty as people to make the world a better place, but we should also enjoy our short time while on this earth. So…enjoy it, live it up, and leave this world better than it was when you came in.

Most people enjoy hanging out with friends and family. Many people enjoy the outdoors, whether hunting, fishing, or camping. Lots of people enjoy videogames and movies. We all enjoy many things, whether big or small, important or not, long-term or short-lived. There are too many things in this life to enjoy to be hampered by the fear of what is on the other side of death. I enjoy living my life and while sometimes it might not be pleasant or fun, it is the life that I have to live. Epicurus taught me that. He showed me the carefree side of this thing called life. And so I learned to really live until the day I die.