I think if I really chose to live my life like every day was my last, I would be a complete jerk. Maybe that says a lot about me, but I have a feeling that everyone would be more or less the same.
Think about it, if this is your last day, and nothing follows, then what do you have to live for other than the moment? I know that if I wholly subscribed to that philosophy then I would only live for the here and now, which is to say, for myself.
What Would That Look Like?
I would find myself spending an inordinate amount of time in the shower, stealing every last scrap of water for my own comfort and edification, leaving my family to wait for more hot water. I would eat the last (and rather large) piece of my son’s birthday cake, because I wouldn’t be around tomorrow and I’d be certain that he would find it in his heart to forgive me, eventually. I wouldn’t buckle, wouldn’t signal, wouldn’t be at all courteous when driving. What’s the point? Life is over and I hate to do those things anyway. I wouldn’t make small talk or try to console anyone, I would generally be a miserable grouch. Perhaps I would give skydiving or rocky mountain climbing a go, but honestly I wouldn’t see the merit in such activities if this were my last day.
Now, that said, I understand the idea of the song is propel you to seek out new ways of doing things, to live your life now to its fullest. I just don’t think it works. And, to be honest, the “live like you’re dying” philosophy damages more lives than it helps.
The Other Ending
What if we tried something else? Maybe the opposite? What if we believed that we would never die, and every decision, every action that we made here had some consequence down the line? What if we accepted and understood that everything we choose to do, matters?
I think it would radically change our lives for the better.
Every choice that you make changes your inmost being, in small to large ways. The part of you that goes on, that escapes when you die, feels the turns and bends of your life and decisions. You are shaping yourself, for good or for bad.
The Choice Is Simple
Do you sit in front of the computer or TV all day, simply consuming media, eating cheesy puffed snacks, licking your fingers? Your soul is slowly twisting in the direction of sloth. If you were dying, and death was truly the end, this would be perfectly acceptable behavior, warranted even.
I would buy you the cheesy poofs myself.
But it’s not the end, and we have to stop pretending like it is. Our lives, our decisions, everything we do matters on a much grander and more epic scale than we could ever begin to imagine. If we accept that as truth, and embrace it for the amazing gift that it is, than our lives will be, can be, amazing.