You’ve probably heard this being said several times over and most likely have used it yourself once or twice in your lifetime. I bet you felt that you had been given a whole new and improved leash on life and your strategy for life had been reshaped and remodeled to face each day head on. Let me just say that after reading this piece, you might want to rethink your game plan just a little bit.
I must admit, it’s made quite a great many speeches proud and I’m happy for those you who were given resounding applauses after this statement was made. While I may be happy for you, I think that it is extremely reckless for one to live each day as though it were the last. I simply can’t agree with that statement.
I pondered long and hard about this statement and when I could chew no longer, I asked my best friend what she would do if today were her last day on earth. She said to me in a calm tone; “I would said sleep in the church.” You see my point? Living today like it were your last feels like a balloon going out flat and trying desperately to stay afloat. But if you’re a typical Ghanaian or the kind of person who likes to leave things for the very last minute, I can understand why this would be appropriate.
If I woke up this morning and knew for certain that this was the very last day of my life, I would say to myself: “Oh geez, the last day of my life. Whatever am I going to do with it?” Then with a slow start I’d head out straight to my bank (yes, I won’t brush my teeth. Who cares? I’d be dead by tomorrow anyways) and raid my bank account of all it is worth. Head to town and buy the one most expensive electronic gadget I’ve always wanted; be sure to maximize its while showing off to everybody I meet on the street. Then I would look through my list for the most disliked person (or people) in my life and depending on their location show off my latest overpriced yet China-made contraption. After dangling it before their faces, I would punch them in the face and tell them exactly how I felt about them. If it’s a guy, I would kick him in the nuts and make sure he screams like a girl; take a video and upload it on YouTube and make sure all his friends see it. If it’s a lady I’d hope she wore a weave I could rip off her head and leave her bald. Just as I did for the guy, I would upload the photos and video on YouTube and Facebook for public humiliation.
Alternatively I could spend the first half the morning in a sombre mood repenting of ALL my sins in the hopes that I wouldn’t be a gate crusher at the Pearly Gates. The remaining half would be spent on having a good solid kings breakfast (damn the carbs and calories). In the afternoon I would take a stroll through my favorite side of town, say goodbye to all my friends, make sure that my last will and testament have the right people on it. I would sit down someplace quiet and evaluate the life I’ve lived and probably feel sorry for myself and all the things I was unable to achieve while still alive. Bottom line, it would be a miserable day, one I would never want to relive i.e. if I don’t die! I would think to myself: “All the hard work I put into living has all come down to a measly 24hours.” Quel dommage!
Now imagine waking up to a bright sunny day and that was the very first day of your life (make it a rainy day even, it makes no difference)- imagine the possibilities!!! Unlimited! It would be the first time you would have seen the Sunny Sky or Rainy Day. It would be the first time you breathe. It would be the first time you laugh, cry, jump, walk, cycle, used Facebook or Twitter even! For me this outlook presents a far better and less gloomy picture than the former frame. I might be putting the cart before the wheel, but perhaps it’s because I seek to move in a different direction.
I’d rather live each day as my FIRST! Thing is, there’s something about the start of a thing that carries so much energy, inspiration and zing that you just don’t get at the last minute of life (which leans more towards desperation). There’s always so much hope at the start and seriously if we had to live as though this were the dying moments of our lives I doubt much progress will be made.
I may or may not have convinced you to tow my line of thought, but if think about how well we start each year with truckloads of resolutions and hearts brimming with hope and contrast it with how the year ends; looking back at the regrets, the should-haves, could-haves and would-haves (don’t forget scraping the bottom of our bank accounts for enough cash to splurge during the holidays), you might be tempted to concur.
As we enter 2012, I would like to cease these precious first moments of the year to simply appreciate life – eventful or otherwise; the slow ones, the fast ones, the high ones and yes, even the low ones (especially the low ones)- knowing that second chances do exist and if we lose out on today, tomorrow holds hope for victory. That’s all I’m saying. Love it or hate it, you can choose to take it or leave it. I leave that entirely up to you.