Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
This instantly reminds me of the William Wallace quote: Every man dies. But not every man truly lives. That said, when I investigated whether or not William Wallace said that, there is no historical record to support it. So perhaps it is an aphorism from Randall Wallace (no relation) who wrote Braveheart.
Living a life of silent desperation is a crime in and of itself. And for every example I may conjure, there is an even harsher example that can be called up that proves that this aphorism has difficulty being applied universally. So I will qualify my comments for a majority of people who are going about a normal life.
I hear the phrase, “I am bored,” come out of the mouths of others, and I wonder how that could even be possible. I am many negative things in life… exhausted, burned out, lonely, frustrated, angry, disappointed… but bored is seldom, if ever, a variable in my life. This became even less of a regular occurrence with the invention of the internet and later, the iPhone. With the entire world in our pocket, wherever we are, there is always something of interest to explore. Always.
I do not care which subjects are interesting to you. If you have any inquisitive nature, the ability to engage with the world is always readily available. There are millions of things to learn, to love, to appreciate, to laugh at and so on.
For people who feel trapped in their lives, and are quietly dying on a daily basis, I offer this single perspective. Right or wrong, it is mine, and for what it’s worth….
You have one trip on this 3D playground called Earth. It is not guaranteed to be an amazing trip. But you have it within your power to expand your universe exponentially through countless explorations, lessons, investigations and distractions… the spectrum range of which is truly unimaginable to any of us. In the course of growing old, things happen. Good and bad. The bad ones may limit your life in ways that are inconceivable to most people. (After being held at gunpoint in my home, it took me 10 years to be able to walk through a normal person’s door to the outside without a peephole that I could look through first.) Whatever limiting elements that shape one’s life, are part of the life experience. Your ability to reconcile the things you cannot change and massively improve the things that are within your control is what Norman is writing about above. Allowing things to die inside of us is borderline criminal if there is still a way to take the fire that was burning and keep it alive.
If you have not discovered the internet and YouTube to their exponential advantage, I would invite you to ask your browser even the most insanely trivial question. I had a professor in 10th grade English who assigned me the stupidest research paper… Explain the relationship / affair between F. Scott Fitzgerald and society columnist Sheilah Graham. (He died in her apartment off Sunset Bl. At the time it was an insane amount of research, and it was only to amuse him. But the point is this. I asked Google about it, just now, and there 10+ pages of links (200 references) on the topic.
You can learn more than your brain can handle by using Google. And YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world brings you lessons on everything imaginable. Whatever your field of interest or hobby or career growth passion is, there is a lesson waiting for you on YouTube. During Covid, I taught myself two programs (After Effects and Premiere) using solely YouTube.
So do not ever let your life die inside. Use resources to leverage new strength in a means that elevates your current status and frame of mind to one that only makes you happier for the efforts expended!
Each trip around the sun counts. Make every last one special.