Monday, May 14, 2007

nice sentiment bad advice

I was shopping for a greeting card, today. I noticed one of those quote cards that I considered buying. The quote was attraibuted to James Dean:

"Dream as though you would live forever. Live as though you would die today."

At first I liked it. But the more I thought about it I realized it wasn't really good advice. If we knew we really would never die I doubt that we would dream at all. it's only because we know that this life will come to an end that we set goals and work to achieve them. If I had forever anything I wanted to work on could always wait until the next day. Which adds up to about zero motivation and a very dull life.

And if I really thought I was going to die today that would set up a very unnatural situation where I would want to huddle together with my loved ones and maybe spend some time praying. But I sure wouldn't want to spend the last day of my life, taking risk, or setting plans, or challenging myself to new growth and development. The last day of your life is appropirately reserved for closing down, but nobody ought to live every day that way.

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