We never thought we are going to die. But now we are thinking we are also mortal and subject to death. Death not at a distant future but it could be in the immediate future. Thanks to Corona Virus – Covid 19 disease, we are in this situation. This thought should bring a huge shift in our minds about how we see life and how we live our life. Close experience with death is quite thought-provoking.
The value of human life is better understood by the people who have experienced death closely.
When you read the books like The Last Lecture or The Fault in Our Star or When Breath Become Air or On Shortness of Life or a Facebook post of Holly Butcher, an Australian 27-year-old woman, who died of a couple of years ago or the following quote from Rishi Kapoor who has survived cancer, one thing becomes clear, we take this human life very lightly.
“A person like me who has never had patience, this is God’s way to teach me patience. Getting well is a slow procedure. But it makes you grateful for the gift of life.” Rishi Kapoor
There are many suggestions on what to do in free times like, reading books (one of the best options), family discussions, call friends & family members, play indoor games like carrom and cards (we have lost it long back), watch TV and Web series (one of the worst options), learn cooking, learn new things, start a blog, master your Sudoku skill, start your personal dream project, finish pending work, clean your house and laptop, etc, etc.
Yes, you do all of the above and whatever you like but don’t stop at that only. If you think our life consists of all the time you have in life, you have to approach this imposed free time, offered by Janata Curfew and lockdown, differently. It is a lifetime opportunity never enjoyed by us.
We don’t value this privileged human life. If you look at the lives of animals and creatures around us you would realize the privilege we have in this human body. This life is too short and before we realize this it ends.
The following quotes from the book On Shortness of Life by Seneca are quite enlightening and worth mulling over again and again.
“We are born for a brief span of life, and because this spell of time that has been given to us rushes by so swiftly and rapidly that with very few exceptions life ceases for the rest of us just when we are getting ready for it.”
The author further says;
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property, but as soon as it comes to squandering time, they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy (miserly).
Many people say, “When I am fifty, I shall retire into leisure, when I am sixty, I shall give up public duties.” And what guarantee do you have of a longer life?
“Aren’t you ashamed to keep for yourself just the remnants (leftover) of your life, and to devote to wisdom only that time which cannot be spent on any business? How late is it to begin really to live just when life must end?
“How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived.”
About the present term social distancing, one needs to remember forever the following wisdom from the book, even after this present pandemic is over and far behind us.
“All those who call you to themselves draw you away from yourself.”
To live happily and in a meaningful way the book says;
“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy. Which hand upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in fortune’s control and abandoning what lies in yours. The whole future lies in uncertainty, live immediately.”
“Life will be driven on through a succession of preoccupations, we shall always long for leisure, but never enjoys its” (This could be proved wrong if these days of lockdown period is really put to use by life-changing examination of our life)
To corroborate the thought the author of the nonfiction book When Breath Become Air, writes;
“If the unexamined life was not worth living, was the unlived life worth examining?”
Examining life turned Valia (the Don) to Sage Valmiki. This is the power of examining life.
Here are some of the quotes from the book The Last Lectures by Randy Pausch (Who died do of cancer at a young age), are worth considering when you deal with your free time in life.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
“The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have.
“Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.”
The following couplet of Dr. Harivanshrai Bachchan from his famous poem Jeevan ki aapa-dhaapi mein, is what we all need to do in this compulsory free and locked downtime.
जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला।
In the hustle and bustle of life, when did I find any time That I could sit at someplace for a while and think of what is good or bad in what I did?
Examine your lived life to salvage remaining life ending unexamined.
Unless this fear of proximity with death, this compulsory once in a lifetime free time changes your perspective on life, it would be just a waste of time and huge opportunity lost.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscape, but having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
When you reach the other end of the present pandemic of Corona Virus – Covid 19, you and we all will have a 2nd life for all of us. We should have a new eye to look at life.
Handpicked related post: Are You Ready for Your Prayer Meeting?
The questions need to be pondered upon are:
- What you should be doing with your remaining short life?
- What are the important things and the things worth ignoring?
- Grudges you want to keep or free yourself from it?
- Living just for earning money and die or pursuing your passion or achieving your spiritual goal?
Don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity go waste just like your life till now.