Death’s Proximity

There’s a quote out there which asks us to consider whether the issue at hand would seem important if we were dying tomorrow. It depends. Am I on fire? Is the world ending?

It’s ridiculous (but understandable) to use the prism of our own ending as a filter to prioritize the mundane moments and reactions of our lives, in part because 99% of our lives reside in those moments of normalcy.

Unlike many, I learned more than once that death comes as an angry and unwelcome surprise. It often visits without a warning knock or a glance at our calendars. Yes, it even appears with a totally disengaged and indifferent glance in our direction. It simply comes.

Time is irrelevant to death.

At 20, you have no means to determine your proximity to death.

It is arrogance and a disavowal of the way the universe works to believe that you have any inkling of how close the claws of your undoing are.

To live as if nothing is important enough to engage with is a terrible way to move through time, whether you have one day or one decade. It’s possible that you might learn more from spending 23 minutes of your day reading the fine print of a website than you would learn while considering life’s complexities.

It’s difficult to know. Focus on what it interesting to you, now, because it’s what you have.


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