I see the posts over and over. My uncle/dad/sister, whoever, has cancer, or some other troubling disease. Some are rare, most are incurable. Hell, my own mother has Alzheimer’s, and an Uncle I haven’t seen since I was a small child has heart issues that will soon take his life. In the past few years, a number of friends my age or younger have passed away. It’s disconcerting.
The memes abound: the hazards of GMO, steroid riddled beef and chicken, and produce sprayed with poison to make it look good in the store. Maybe the answer is we all change our diets, drive safer cars at slower speeds, avoid sunlight and distracted driving, and never put anything on, around, near, or in our bodies that we don’t have full knowledge about.
But I think cancer would still happen. Careful people would still get AIDS, the compassionate people would still be exposed to Ebola, and unvaccinated or vaccinated children, depending on your side of the argument, would spread disease around the world. Shit, something undiscovered would break out. However, that isn’t the real point. What is, you ask?
We all have a terminal disease. It is called life. We all put ourselves in danger every time we get out of bed. This risky behavior includes the ever dangerous pastimes of laundry, showering, eating breakfast, strapping ourselves into a steel and glass device, and propelling ourselves to work at high rates of speed, working itself, the equally dangerous drive home, not to mention any side errands or hobbies we might engage in.
So don’t let the biggies scare you. If your friend has cancer, cherish them while you have them. You never know if you will be the one to go first. You can’t catch AIDS from a hug, Ebola in your average super market, or most other diseases either. And whether you do, or you don’t, we’re all terminal.
This blog isn’t meant to bring you down. It’s simply meant to say this: it’s okay, even good to make plans and have goals. It’s not bad to map out what you think your future might look like, although in my experience it rarely plays out that way.
But when opportunity comes, take it. When friendship comes, cherish it. When life offers you something good, embrace it, even if it does not last forever. Because quite simply, nothing does.
If today was your last day, what would you do? What opportunities have come into your life you have passed up due to fear? We’re all terminal. Seize the day.