Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

You’re Gonna Die

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Total Black: $543.54
Total Red: $230,467.77

On the train to work today, I had music on my iPhone on shuffle when a great song (if you can call it that), “You’re Gonna Die” by William Shatner, came on.  The song is hilarious, catchy, and actually quite aurally diverse with many subtle background shout-outs, odd sounds, and other noises.  But what brings the biggest smile to my face is the song’s overall message.  Guess what?  You’re going to die. Bet you forgot, eh?   Not something we think about very often.  But it’s the only sure thing in life.  Everything ends.

Sometimes, it seems, we do forget.  We get so wound up in our own lives—in our debt and our dramas, our aches and pains, our joys and pleasures.  The slightest affront sets us off.  The lost job has us in tears.  The wedding plans have us in knots.  The grades have us doubting our career path.  Why?  As the saying goes, you can’t take it with you.  And if we live once, it certainly does not make sense spending the bulk of it in worry or despair.

I suspect this is, in a sense, the focus of the Serenity Prayer.  I touched on this a bit in Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom.  Rereading that post reveals a bit more frustration than perhaps I needed back then.  Many of us tend to invoke the Serenity Prayer when what we really require is patience to get through something.  “God grant me the serenity,” we call out, and there end it.  Others may cite the prayer in times when courage is needed, perhaps to withstand temptation.  Rarely do people turn to that prayer to invoke wisdom.  And it takes a bit of wisdom to appreciate the finality of life and keep a proper sense of perspective.  We all will die.  And death, as far as we know, is permanent.  We’re born once but we’re dead forever.

So the next time your neck gets tied up in knots from the stress of work, or when you wring your hands in despair at a bit of bad news, or even when someone close passes on, do as Shatner advises.

Live life like you’re gonna die.  ‘Cause you’re going to.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

December 17, 2009 at 23:46

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