👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers
Life is weird, isn’t it? Depending on the day, or even the hour, it can be great, awful, fast, slow, exciting, dull, easy, difficult, long, short, calm, chaotic, joyful, heartbreaking, and many other things (maybe at the same time). Because of all these twists and turns, life is something we often fail to appreciate. Did you know the chances of you being born were about 1 in 10 to the power of 2,685,000 (that’s a 10 with 2,685,000 zeros after it 😳)? So basically the odds of you being born were zero, but yet here you are.
Unfortunately, this miracle of a life you’re experiencing will end someday. It’s helpful to pause and reflect on that fact from time to time in order to take stock of our lives, celebrate how far we’ve come, and possibly recalibrate to make sure we’re living our one life the way we truly want.
So take the next few minutes to do exactly that: pause, read over a few ideas from some brilliant minds, and reflect.
We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.
I’ve learned that every mortal will taste death, but only some will taste life.
By the time your life is finished, you will have learned just enough to begin it well.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
For as long as I can remember, my dad—who reads this each week and replies with additional thoughts (Hey, Pops!)—will randomly text me and my siblings this one piece of advice that, I think, is the perfect way to close out this issue. So, in the wise words of Gregory Brokaw:
You only get one April 21st, 2021. Make the most of it.
(It’s great because you can update it every single day and it still works.)
✌️Until next week, happy philosophizing.
Philosophy Phocus: Existentialism