Have you ever stopped and counted your blessings? When a tragedy hits, whether it is nearby or in a far away city, are you relieved to know that your friends and family were not affected? That they are still alive?
Due to yesterday’s tragedy in Boston, many of us have probably felt this sense of relief very recently, and were thankful to know that our loved ones are still alive.
But do we ever consider that something could happen to a friend or family member? That unforeseen events do, unfortunately, happen. I want to simply remind you that yes, you should count your blessings. While we may find it silly to follow the cliche of “Live today like it’s your last,” you should remember that while you may be alive and well, the life of a friend or family member may end much sooner than we expect.
I do not believe in regrets. We shouldn’t dwell on what we did or didn’t do in our pasts. But reflecting on our pasts is not always a bad thing, and we can learn from our past experiences.
I recently found out that an older woman I befriended at an event at my college was diagnosed with cancer. It caused an instant guilty feeling in my stomach. When was the last time I called her? Spent a day in Manhattan with her? I realized I haven’t seen her for over a year, and while I did try my best to keep in contact, my busy school life had kept me from visiting her recently.
It made me realize that even when we get busy and our lives become messy, we need to remember what is important to us, to keep in touch with those who do matter to us. You don’t know when someone will be pulled away from you too quickly, whether they have to unexpectedly move away, are diagnosed with an illness, or die sooner than expected.
While young pop culture focuses on phrases like “YOLO – You Only Live Once” are excessively overused, perhaps we should stop and focus on ourselves for once. Take a risk. Talk to that guy you’ve been eyeing. Make a new friend. Take a road trip with friends. Call your mom when you miss her at college. Don’t forget what is important to you when life gets hectic.
Take a moment to yourself, and live today like it could be your, or anyone in your life’s, last.