The Value of Life

Andrew - Roswell, Georgia
Entered on March 10, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that you should live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Walter Payton, one of the greatest running backs in NFL history and a victim of cancer, once said, “Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.” To me, this is as true as a statement can get. Too often people take life for granted and don’t appreciate its true value. We have almost no control over when we will die; that is the scary truth. Despite this, we should not live in fear of death, but appreciate the little things in life. Too many people worry about their future and what they will be doing tomorrow, and they don’t even pay attention to what is going on in the present.

Life often takes unexpected turns that we cannot control. My grandfather on my mom’s side was not even fifty years old when he was told that he had only three to six months to live due to pancreatic cancer. I have heard countless other stories about relatives, friends, or friends of friends who have had a time limit put on their life because of similar terminal illnesses. This could happen to me or to you as soon as tomorrow. Every time we get in a car or on a plane, our lives are at risk. However I do not think this should be a reason to be afraid or live in a state of paranoia. It is more of a reason to enjoy life as much as possible while you have it and make the most out of it.

I believe that life is too short to worry about everything. People, including myself, become preoccupied with their future. I think that people often struggle through life doing things that they don’t enjoy, so that they will some day be successful. Success should be measured by how much you truly enjoy your life rather than by how much money you make. If you pursue something you love, you are living as if you were going to die tomorrow. Ultimately I want to be able to look back on life and truthfully say that I did my best to have as few regrets as possible.