Can you think of anything worse than death?
There might be some of you who can create an exhaustive list right off the cuff while others might need a bit more time to come up with a list. Well, I did a Google search of the phrase “what’s worse than death” and here’s what I found. Some of the examples included: chronic illness, quadriplegia, torture, taxes, poverty, loving the wrong person, divorce, life, and immortality.
Taxes? Really? I can’t imagine how taxes are worse than death. And immortality? This one puzzled me. How can anyone view immortality as being worse than death? Yes, I get the loneliness, watching loved-ones die, monotony, etc. Even so, I’d accept the gift of immortality any day of the week. But, I guess to each his or her own, right?
Anyway, here’s what I had in mind regarding the topic. When I think of a fate worse than death, the first thought that comes to mind is living a wasted life. Why would living a wasted life be a fate worse than death? Here’s my two-word answer: human potential. Yes, “human potential—meaning, the plow, the ship, the wheel, the compass, the printing press, the steam engine, the automobile, the internal combustion engine, the telephone, the light bulb, refrigeration, penicillin, the airplane, contraceptives, the computer, the Internet, the smart phone.
In life, you never really know if the path that you’re on will lead to success. But not knowing should never be an excuse for inaction.
What if there were ten, just ten additional inventors throughout history—ten people who would have dug deeper, trusted their gut instincts, ignored the noise, e.g., skeptics/haters/dream-killers, and followed their hearts as it relates to that invention that never saw the light of day? Perhaps we would have already solved poverty and world hunger and climate change. It could be that we would have already colonized distant planets. Conceivably, cancer, heart disease and diabetes would have been things of the past. Just, what if?
Why have life if you’re not going to live? Why make the conscious decision to descend into nothingness—to live a life absent of purpose.
The truth is, in life, you never really know if the path that you’re on will lead to success. But not knowing should never be an excuse for inaction. Too many people have made sacrifices for you to be where you’re at right now. It might have been your mom and dad, or a mentor or friend who made it possible for you to have a chance at a better life. Don’t those people deserve a better return on their investment than the effort you’re currently putting forth? For those of us living in the United States of America—I mean, what greater place to pursue our dreams?
So, yes, there is a fate worse than death, and that’s living a wasted life. But you and I do not have to accept or participate in that existence. We can decide to sacrifice temporary pleasures, instant gratification, even our time, sleep and stability in order to win—in order to change our family tree and leave a lasting legacy.