Earlier this week in response to Today’s Brilliance by Michael Bungay Stanier, I asked our InspireMeToday.com family the question, “If you could know the date of your death, would you want to know?”
The reactions were very interesting. Almost 2/3rds of those who commented on the main blog and on Twitter said “NO”, about 5% said maybe, and the remaining 1/3 responded with “YES”. The average age of those who responded with “No” was more than 10 years younger than those who responded with “Yes”. Perhaps as we age the date or our demise would be easier or more advantageous to know?
Many of you asked me how I would answer this question. Although I can see benefits to many of the reasons for the “Yes” and the “No” answers included on the blog or in the tweets, I think I would lean more towards “Yes” for several reasons.
– We say we live each day like it’s our last, but most of us really don’t. If we really did, the word ‘worry’ wouldn’t be in our vocabulary. Think about it…. if you knew you only had a week left here on Earth, would you spend any time worrying about anything?
– Most of us expect to live a long, fulfilled life and therefore we put off a lot of things until ‘someday’. When you go on vacation you manage to schedule the things that you want to do or see into the week because you know how long you have to do so. Therefore, I think if we knew we only had 40 or 50 years we would spend them more wisely and place a higher value on those days than we do when we think they are endless.
– And for all those who commented that “It would be too stressful to know”, I only have one question for you. Don’t you already know now, to a certain degree? We have the benefit of statistics to tell us that most of us won’t live past 80, so you’re probably not booking a lot of events or vacations now for when you’re in your 90’s or 100’s.
But, all of this is kind of a moot point, because we can’t know, and in that, there is magic. For me, the secret is to truly live and appreciate each day as if it could be our last, cherish our relationships by letting others know how much they mean to us, practice forgiveness, celebrate each moment for the gift that it is, don’t take anything for granted and don’t wait until ‘someday’ to do the things on your bucket list. If we live by these principals then it won’t matter if we know the date or not, for our lives will be rich and blessed everyday.
Thanks to all who contributed to the blog and answered via Twitter. Should you wish to add your comments below, know that you are welcome to do so.
Here are the responses from Twitter:
Mteninty Yes! 39
Jenom I vote yes
LibanaMusic Yes! an extra piece of the puzzle.
AnnaKDeLeo No!!! 28. I think we need to live in the moment, no matter what.
Gis4Girl Aabsolutely not. I’m 35.
hprog No. 33.
castleview NO! 65yrs.
KelByrd Definitely not. (No) 23 years old.
missphenom No because what if you do not die that day? Also your focus will be on your death date instead of the days you are alive.
RobertHruzek What whack job would really want to know that? Yeesh! 🙂
angelmarie_3 I’m 18, and nope I wouldn’t wanna know. 🙂 I live everyday like it could be my last.
ElizabethPW My answer is no. because I live life as if I will die today and as if I will live forever.
kayabayb No, 23
BrettBorders NO, 33
ChebbiPon NO. I don’t want to know date of my death. Whatever happens, happens.. What matters most is how you live your life so far.
calichiny No way // age :24
KarenAngstadt I’m 36 & I’ll continue ur trend. NO. I’d rather get 2 experience practice of living in the moment w/o knowing.
chris_tate24 No, I wouldn’t want to know, age 43. I think it would paralyze me and not allow me to live as I would have.
AMerems No I want to live each day! As if it was my last!!
sagesayings NO! 40
ellenfweber Gr question. I’d need to reflect the ethics and all pros/cons before I decide:-)Each day we should live as if the last. It could be toxic for person’s who struggle at times with moods and good to stir up those who move slowly on life issues:-)
Thanks again to all who commented here, on Twitter and on the main blog. I greatly appreciate your being a part of the InspireMeToday.com community.
Big hugs and love,