Sunday, March 4, 2012

Six Months to Live

This week was just another tumult filled week in the history of our planet, but it brought me back to a topic I occasionally ponder - would I live my life any differently if I knew exactly how much time I had remaining in this existence?
Given this question, I think most of us would quickly make some sort of bucket list and try to check off our most prized experiences before we expired.  We would make sure to do all the things we ever imagined doing in our life, see all the places we had hoped to see.  I am sure I would do the same exact thing.
I always consider how differently we might treat other people were our time limited.  Would we be nicer?  Would we show more love?  Would we apologize more?  Would we live as better people?  
I am fairly confident the answer is yes.  We would live our lives expressing the joy we feel in every moment remaining in our limited life.  I think we would cherish the people we meet more heartily.  I think we would give thanks to those around us for simply being.  At least, this is my optimistic hope.
Invariably, my mind drives forward to the next question - how much time is required for a change in our behavior to take effect?
If you were told you had three months to live today, how would your behavior change?  What if you were told six months?  A year?  Two years?  Is there a limit on when your impending mortality affects you?  What if your doctor called you into the office today, sat you down, and explained to you that you only had fifty more years to live?  Would you change?
See, we all have an expiration date of some sort.  As of now, we only have a limited amount of time on this planet before we leave.  The time we spend amongst the rest of the human race is measured.  If you said you would love more, you would be nicer, and you would live as a better person if your time was short, then I applaud you.  But, regardless of how much time each of us might have left, my last question is always this - why would we act any different towards our fellow man whether we had six months or sixty years?


  1. I think many people like to think that they will get around to acting that way eventually. Being given a deadline just forces the process. As a young person, I often assume that when I'm in my golden years I'll always be kind, volunteer, make amends to all. But mostly because 1) It no longer gets in my way to do so and 2) is ironically self serving and 3) I'll have the time (which kinda goes with #1)

    Then again I subscribe to cynics of America magazine

    1. I totally agree. It is kinda like being back in college again knowing you have a term paper due the next day. You buckle down and write as fast as you can because you know it is due. We all know the paper would be better written if we had started weeks before, but there always seem to be better things to do.

  2. Another question is - would you respond to posts you like, (as sort of a thank you...), or would you just receive without acknowledgement.

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