“Treat death not with contempt, for in it the value of living becomes priceless”
– Kelechi .C. Oji
Life is a journey. A journey of birth, happiness, laughter, pain, tears, joy, and ultimately Death. Life is hard and always will be, at least for those wishing to find meaning in life to make it worth living. Nothing in life comes easy, not even the child from the womb during birth or the dirt dugout during the funeral. Life is like a business deal; to get anything valuable out of it, you must be willing to pay the price, whatever it entails.
To become a valuable citizen in the community, you must add value to society or at least to your family. How do you go about adding value? Ok, let’s say you need a decent-paying job to be of value to your self, family or society at large. To get the job, you need a skill. Ok, great, where does one go to learn skills? A university or some kind of college. Alright, fair enough. How do you enroll in a conventional university or college? You need to write SAT or a form of entrance exam. Wait, you need to go through high school before considering a university. How does one get into high school? You need to go through elementary school and you need someone to make that decision for you; well, that is the role of a guardian or parent who understands education’s value. Well, my point is, to get a well-deserving job, look at the years of commitment, and strive that one needs to go through without the certain hope of the expected outcome.
Life is hard but worth living, but how can one navigate through life’s hardship and make meaning out of it? The greatest search in life is meaning. Why am I here? What is my purpose on earth?
The meaning and purpose of life are not questions we ask life but rather a question that life asks us. Hence we must find the answer to these daring questions. Picture life like a blank canvas, and we are the artist. The blank canvas presents a question of ” what will you have drawn on me that will be worth viewing, celebrating or sharing.” As an artist, you first need an idea, a concrete, feasible idea, then you have to make sure you have the tools to manifest such ideas, and more importantly, you don’t have all day. Be done with your work as quickly as you can.
Here you have it;
- You need an idea,
- You have to find the tools necessary to manifest the idea,
- You have limited time and a very impatient audience waiting to see your artwork.
Let’s delve deeper. Think of the greatest possible outcome of your life. How can we do that? We need to make sure this idea is feasible, so you better not think of Spiderman. You then need to make sure it is the greatest, meaning that it won’t just be a walk in the park. It has to be something that scares you, something that you are not but can become, and in becoming, it has a positive consequence. For example, an obese person hopes to lose weight, 70 kg. So they currently weigh 180kg but need to get to 110kg; that requires a lot of dedication, but in the end, they will be healthier, look better, and all worth not. So write down the greatest possible outcome that your life can have.
Now you have the idea, what do you have to fulfill such idea and what will you need but don’t have. An artist with a great idea can’t manifest any great idea without the right brushes and paint. If he doesn’t have the right tools, it is best to seek them out.
So I will assume that you reading this article, hopes to be president of your country one day. First, you need to understand the land laws, economics, socio-political structure, public speaking, and communication skills. If you don’t have the right tools, you may end up being a president but a bad president; just like an artwork drawn with improper tools won’t stand a chance beside the same artwork drawn with the finest tools. Do you have the required tools for this grand idea of yours?
Finally; Time, what a weird concept it is. General to us and yet unique to us. Regardless of the variation of time and life, we all share our individual experiences of time from birth to Death. Death, the reminder that we have limited time. Staring before the canvas of life, Death the clock reminds us that we don’t just need to find meaning, but we need to seek it quickly.
Death is like that exam supervisor; once the time is up, it will snatch your paper whether you are done filling in the answer or not. Yes, we need to develop a great idea and seek the tools to manifest the idea, but most importantly, we need to do all this in time ( lifetime). Life is also unfair. Sadly not all will grow old and strong; a few will grow old but not strong. Not so sad because many goals and life ideas can be achieved before Death comes knocking. My point is we don’t have time; the audience is waiting to see your artwork.
Hurry up, conceptualize this great idea if you already have. Find the tools to manifest this idea. If you have the tools, then start painting. My friend, many may not know when Death will come. Some early, some late. It is best to assume that you are in the former, but that will put you under much pressure. It is not so great to think you are in the late batch neither, because Death may come up to you like the exam supervisor requesting you submit your soul. Therefore it is only by wisdom which comes from God that we will know when Death is upon us and only by His mercies that we can say to Death “not today.” More importantly, with strength and courage, gathered through life, we can say “into your (God) hands I commit my spirit.”
This was very encouraging
Really needed this
You are the Christian philosopher of our times.
The crux of this article reminds me of a stoic quote by Seneca that goes thus; "This is our biggest mistake: to think we look forward to death. Most of the death is already gone. Whatever time is passed is owned by death."
Your Avid Reader.
Well done this was a great read.
There's only one thing we say to death as we continue to work towards our goals in life...."not today" and like you said when the day finally comes that death turns a deaf ear to our request may we have the strength to say "into your hands God I commit my spirit.”
It was really detailed and straight to the point and it made me understand that having a consciousness that death can come anytime gives us a sense of urgency to act now on whatever it is we plan to do.
Loved every bit of it... It gives a deeper insight into “A life well spent”... “It’s not the years in your life that counts, it’s the life in your years”.