On The Shortness of Life

On The Shortness of Life

Photo by AARN GIRI / Unsplash

Life moves fast, doesn't it? Sometimes, we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget to stop and think about how brief our time here really is. Seneca, an old philosopher, once wrote about how life is actually pretty long if we live it the right way. But many of us end up feeling like it's slipped through our fingers because we're not making the most of it.

“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. ... The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.” ― Seneca

When you think about how huge the universe is, it's easy to feel like we're just a tiny speck in the grand scheme of things. But instead of making us feel unimportant, this can be a wake-up call to really cherish every moment. It's like the universe is reminding us to pay attention and not waste the little time we've got.

There's this passage in the Bible, James 4:13-15, that hits on a similar note. It talks about how we make all these plans, thinking we know exactly what's going to happen tomorrow. But the truth is, we don't even know what the next day brings. Our life is described as a mist that shows up for a little while and then vanishes. It's a bit of a reality check, reminding us not to get too caught up in our own plans as if we control everything.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15

Both Seneca's thoughts and the Bible verse are kind of nudging us to really live in the moment. Knowing that our time here isn't guaranteed should push us to focus on what truly matters. It's about filling our days with things that make us happy, people we love, and actions that leave a bit of good in the world.

Thinking about the vastness of the universe and our brief moment on Earth can actually be inspiring. It tells us that every moment is precious, a chance to do something meaningful or to just enjoy being alive. Our time might be short, but we can make it deep, filled with love, laughter, and purpose.

So, as we go about our fast-paced lives, let's try to hold onto this idea: live fully, and make your mark, no matter how small it might seem. In the big picture of the universe, our lives are quick, but they can shine brightly and touch others in ways we can't even imagine. Let's make every moment count, embracing the idea of "memento mori" — that life is fleeting — as a reminder to live with purpose and cherish each day.