Chew On It – A Brief Life

A Brief Life 

‘We have two lives, and the second begins when we realise, we only have one.’ Confucius.

We take so much for granted. We tend only to appreciate things once we have lost them. Life is so precious and totally unpredictable. It would be wise to take heed of Confucius’s words and live life to the fullest, filling it with wonderful experiences.

When I was a teenager, I was watching a war movie when it dawned on me that one day, I would no longer be alive. It sent a chill through me. Fast forward a few decades to today, life has been full of joy and beauty interspersed with adversities and tragedies. The tragedies have shaken me up, making me realise my time left in this world is far less than the time I have lived.

My attitude to life has changed greatly to the point that I am focused on seeking joy and pleasure in life. When problems arise, I put them in the perspective — most are so minor that they’re not worth being concerned about. Problems are usually caused by negative emotions. It is essential to not allow these feelings to dictate our actions. When a problem arises, I first question whether I was the cause of it. We humans excel at blaming others.

Last year after spending eight nights in bed with Delta (unfortunately not Goodrem but Covid) I was extremely weak and had very little energy. Someone beeped at me as he felt I was driving too slowly. He then became aggressive. My initial thought was to confront him. But I only would have had enough energy to hit him once. And if it could only be once, it would have to disable him. The consequences would have been most unpleasant for both of us. Good sense came to my head, and I thought it would be far wiser to let the whole situation go by. I drove off, avoiding a major problem due to an inconsequential annoyance.

Most times when provoked, it is much wiser not to retaliate. There are people in this world that are best to keep away from, but we must also ensure we are not the problem. Good things and bad things will happen to good people and bad people. Most times it’s not karma, it’s just the way it is.

When good things happen, be appreciative and revel in it. When bad things happen, sort them out smartly and move on.

I have come to realise that life is a brief consciousness between nonexistence. So, while I have this brief life, I am going to make the best of it. That usually means enjoying time with loved ones. Having lost four immediate family members and a few friends since 2009, I am acutely aware that I have limited time to enjoy with family members and dear friends.

I have a Back to the Future fantasy game where I imagine that I have returned from the future to the present, to savour time with older family members who may not be around in my future (or I might not be around in their future). Either way, it enhances the time I spend with loved ones.

We have a habit of looking back with fond memories of the good old days or looking forward to the future. The past is gone, and the future will come and pass. The priority needs to be about the present. I constantly remind myself that today is the good old days of the future.