Sunday, September 07, 2008

100 things to ponder before you die

illus | gibran

`100 Things' co-author dies in LA

"This life is a short journey. How can you make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time?"
-- author dave freeman

irony is a bitch sometimes.

the guy who had 100 things on his must-do list only did half of them. he had big travel plans in place, but didn't plan on departing this earthly plane so soon.

mr. freeman's early exit probably has family and friends wondering how something so senseless could happen to someone so young, with so much joie de vivre.

me, i wonder if there isn't more to life than filling it with the "most fun" and the "coolest places." those can be wondrous parts of a larger whole, don't get me wrong. it's impossible not to ponder your mortality while diving during a thunderstorm off grand cayman island. it's humbling to stand in the presence of greatness at the wright brothers memorial.

but you know there are billions of people who manage to lead meaningful lives without ever leaving their own little corner of the world.

take a hard look at our raison d'etre, and you might epiphanize that an all-out, ends-of-the-Earth (or end-of-the-block) search is warranted.

but...a search for what?

that's the beauty part. no right or wrong answers. it's your search. when you find it, you know.

some find this ambiguity frustrating. "i don't know what i'm looking for, let alone where to look for it."

"what if i don't recognize whatever it is when i see it?"

"even if i do recognize it, what do i do then?"

no one can presume to know the answers -- or even the list of questions. it's a meandering, lifelong google search, with billions of pages of results to sift through.

[note: a google search of "meaning of life" returned 25,300,000 results. ready? go!]

come to think of it, i have a few queries of my own.

in no particular order...

what really happened to the dinosaurs? and why hasn't the same thing happened to john mccain?

since time is constant, why does it accelerate as we get older? conversely, what's taking jan. 20, 2009 so long to get here?

i used to laugh a lot more than i do now. why?

if we all agree teachers, firefighters and police are so important, why do we pay them so little? similarly, why are professional athletes paid so much?

why do you kids have to act so childish all the time? why do you adults have to act so childish all the time?

from an evolutionary perspective, why are the foods that taste the best generally the worst for us?

would you prefer to be smarter, or better looking? which would most benefit your income?

why is that cat sleeping on my side of the bed?

this is not 100 things to ponder. this list may not even rise to your standard of "ponder-worthy." they may simply be ponderous.

that's part of the deal. you have your list. i have mine. the one thing absolutely have in commone is that we're gonna die.

it's the search that matters. time to get busy.

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