I have learned many hard lessons about life, people, and myself these last few years. Here are just a few takeaways.
First the obvious. We all know this, but sometimes the reality of it hits you hard. None of us know how much time we have left. I am not a religious person, so in many ways I cherish life even more than theists because I believe this is the only life we will ever have. I’m not looking forward to some eternal reward or damnation. I have a limited time on Earth (as we all do) and while I may make mistakes in the end I can only do the best I can.
Second, what are the necessities of life? Obviously food and shelter come to mind. But is it not equally important to tend to our mental health as well as the physical? I haven’t been able to work or even have a hobby in years. Maybe some people would find such a sedentary lifestyle to their liking, but not me.
Speaking of mental health and religion/morals (two separate things but for the purposes of this post I will combine the two), is not empathy a basic component of human decency? I have known people who seem to be not as caring as I wish they would be. But until recently I had never witnessed someone who was completely devoid of any form of empathy for a fellow human being. There is simply no excuse for refusing to care for someone in need. None at all. If you think there is and you are a theist, then I kind of hope you are right because there must be a special place in hell for people like that.
To use a phrase from my favorite band of all time, “despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.” In the end none of us are truly masters of our own fate. We cope as best we can. For some that means religion. For some it means work. For some it means one hobby or another. For me it is music and computers. And unfortunately for some they find fulfillment in hard drugs that can screw up their lives. But it isn’t for me to judge. We all deal with our cages as best we can.
So do I have any final words of wisdom? I do, and I realize this will sound trite and even cliché. But love each other. No matter your differences. You only get one chance in life. I have been literally on the verge of death in the ER at least twice (the third and fourth time they didn’t say if it was potentially fatal or not) in just a few months. So I’m not interested in drama or trying to one-up anyone. I don’t feel I am superior to anyone in any way. But I am seeing life more clearly than I ever have before.