Do you remember your first reaction when you understood that you were actually going to die one day?
I do. I was about 4 years old, we were playing some board game with a friend. All of a sudden, he told me: "you know, it is nice that we can play now, because we won't be able to do so when we're dead". It was quite a shock: no more game for me! It may sound ridiculous, but playing those games was such an enjoyment, that the idea of a total lack of it was too much for the little kid I was. Of course, that whole concept was very mysterious, so in the evening, I tried to ask my mother about it. She seemed embarrassed, didn't really know what to answer, and simply tried to explain that I shouldn't bother about it.
I didn't really buy that explanation, and as I grew up, I gathered more information from other sources. I soon realized that people had various reactions about death. Some were answering with religion, telling about another life after death, supposedly wonderful. Loads of persons also didn't know what to answer, and seemed to live pretending that death didn't exist at all. Then, others simply explained that in doubt, life should be enjoyed as much as possible. Carpe Diem.
Within that last category, there are of course various ways of taking advantage of life. This is personally where I have difficulties: what risk to take, in the name of living a worthy life, and what risk not to take, in order to avoid shortening it too much? Is asking that question already a sign of weakness? Should I always do whatever comes to mind regardless of the potential consequences? Or as a contrary, should I simply spend the next day working, cooking, and keeping the house warm for my family? This is a great dilemma. Usually, I like spending lots of time thinking about a situation, measuring pros and cons, but of course, here time is not on my side. Not on our side, sadly. Or is it?