“Don’t forget that you’re young–blessedly young; be glad of it, on the contrary, and live up to it. Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you live while you’re doing it.” ~ Henry James, The Ambassadors…
This is not something that comes naturally to most of us. The hustle and bustle of life usually tends to overwhelm us and keep us from living all that we can and taking in every blessed moment. Yet life is meant to be lived. And unless we are doing so purposefully and earnestly, we are letting the sands of time and opportunity slip right through our fingers.
The difference between simply spending time in life, and truly living our lives, is the depth of the interactions between this life and our hearts. To be a loving person, we must love deeply and actively. To be a compassionate person, we must feel and experience compassion and empathy at the very core of our beings. To be happy and joy-filled, we must seek happiness and joy and let it dwell in our souls.
Seeking to live our lives fully consists in our ability to ask ourselves from what things, people, places, and activities do we get the most fulfillment, and then allowing ourselves to pursue them. Unfortunately, the questions we generally tend to ask ourselves are distractions. Questions of wealth such as, “What job can I get that will pay the most money?,” or “How will I pay the bills this month?” Questions of fame such as, “What clothes should I buy or wear so that others will like me?,” or “Where is the most popular place to be?” Questions of power such as, “What can I say or do to guarantee that I get my way?” However, when we ask ourselves these kinds of questions, and seek their answers, we are not looking to live, but to survive. We are seeking outside of ourselves for the answers to questions that can only be found within us.
Remember that you are “blessedly young.” Resolve this very moment to seek ways of enriching your days and living your life more fully. What works for me might not work for you; but you will never know unless you seek out the answers that are calling out within.
Live life with purpose and principle.
Questions to consider:
What do you think Henry means when he tells us to “live while you’re doing it?”
Who are some individuals you know who live all they can? How do they accomplish this?
What are some of the questions you ask yourself when you are seeking answers to what life is all about?
For further thought:
“If man affirms his will-to-live, he acts naturally and honestly. He confirms an act which has already been accomplished in his instinctive thought by repeating it in his conscious thought. The beginning of thought, a beginning which continually repeats itself, is that man does not simply accept his existence as something given, but experiences it as something unfathomably mysterious. Affirmation of life is the spiritual act by which man ceases to live unreflectively and begins to devote himself to his life with reverence in order to raise it to its true value. To affirm life is to deepen, to make more inward, and to exalt the will-to-live.” ~ Albert Schweitzer, Reverence for Life