Live Like You Are Dying
It’s a classic story. Person finds out they only have so long to live, or realizes that their life has passed them by before they could accomplish all of their goals. They then go out and live life to the fullest, sending a message to the audience that you should not wait until it is too late to experience all that life has to offer. It has been sung about, portrayed in countless movies, and shown in tv shows. I am by no means downplaying the importance of this message, and I fully support living life to the fullest. However, I think amongst all of the hollywood critiquing and society pandering, the critical message is lost in the songs, movies and books that portray this situation. People become too caught up in living with adventure, finding exciting ways to spend their time, and miss the important message of simply appreciating life.
The movie “The Bucket List.” While I have not seen it, and maybe I should before I discuss it, I can somewhat infer what it is about. Two terminally ill men decide to complete all of the things that they had hoped to do before they die. They sky-dive, drive fast cars and essentially live a wild, adventure filled three months before one of them passes away. In the middle of all of this fun, they both realize what their life had truly been missing, and that it is the small things that matter.
The song from which I blatently stole the title for this post, “Live Like you Were Dying” by Tim McGraw, has the same theme as “The Bucket List.” A man realizes he is dying, and then he goes and lives life more fully, even making time for fly fishing. This song and the many movies about this theme are enjoyable and inspiring. I also think the message sent is one from which much of society can learn from. Also, I believe Mill would very much agree with this message: to live life fully, experience many new things, and don’t wait until it is too late. Mill, however, would believe in living this experience heavy lifestyle from the beginning, instead of waiting for the mid-life crisis, or a terminally ill disease, to spark it. Mill discusses how it is important for people to experience life, and learn from these experiences. As long as these adventures do not impede on the rights of others, or create a “nuisance” to society, then they are acceptable, to an extent. Certainly the activities discussed in these movies and songs do not create a “nuisance” to anyone else.
However, Mill does not believe in simply doing as many enjoyable things as possible solely for the enjoyment gained. There are lessons to be learned, corrections to be made, and normal everyday activities scattered throughout. While trying to make up for a lifetime void of experiences in three months can seem exciting, it is not what the viewer should focus on. Instead, as Mill would support, life your full life by this message, and enjoy the simple things, experience new things, and learn and adapt throughout.