Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Carpe Diem

I received another one of many chain mails this week. I really dislike the superstitious mumbo jumbo stuff about forwarding such e-mails at the end of them. So, since the original creator was not credited, I have decided to share the body of the e-mail here but adjust the opening and closing as only I would, in a blogpost.

Now that I am supposedly "all grown up", I face adult-sized challenges in my daily life. Not all result in success in my favour, which is quite unfortunate. But... supposedly what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And so, I move forward... sometimes with a skip and a hop and laughter in my heart and other times with a limp, dragging my bruised ego and tired legs behind me.

As I reminisce about my "good old days" with some wonderful people in my past, I catch myself feeling wistful and thoughtful amidst all the laughter at our 80s and 90s fashion and hairstyles. I do not deny a desire to turn back the clock, to for a moment, return to the innocence and wonderment of a 20-year old and perhaps even make some decisions just a bit differently. I certainly know a lot more now than I did then. But then again, that’s quite impossible, isn’t it? We cannot relive the past knowing what we know in the present.

While I think it is natural to wonder about what-ifs and wish-I-could-haves back then, at the end of the day, I live in the here and now. This e-mail that I received reminded me of my first lesson in Carpe Diem through the Robin Williams movie, Dead Poets Society. Carpe Diem is a phrase in a poem by Horace, a Roman poet during the time of Augustus. In his ode, Horace beckons the reader to live the present wholly as the future is unknowable. It was a fabulous movie by the way, but since I cannot read Latin, I am unable to recommend Horace’s poem in whole :)

It seems to me this new decade of my life is crucial for building and sealing relationships, especially familial ones. And so, I choose to face this decade of my life with regular reminders to “seize the day” – make today even better than yesterday. No, let’s rephrase that, make today even more meaningful than yesterday. Yeah, that’s better.

When I am finished getting teary-eyed about the past (and don't even bother telling me not to cry as I believe it is human nature to mourn for what we do not have), I must take the step to acknowledge the present that I do have. Count my blessings (corny but true and a must, in order to move forward)...and if I have to, list them one by one. At each sunset and when night falls, I must choose to celebrate the fact that I have life to live, and live to the fullest. If I am unable to find a single blessing, at least for today, may I look to the battered nation of Haiti and be thankful that I am far better off than at least 3 million inhabitants there.

Anyway – here is the body of the e-mail which prompted this blogpost. There is much truth in it. Share it as you wish. Live it as you choose.


To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realizeThe value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby...

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane..

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:



Peace and love to all.