“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” -Samuel Johnson
This article about how older people transmit their wisdom to younger colleagues got me thinking…
They say that is the one big blessing that comes out of having a serious medical issue, is that you FINALLY learn EXACTLY how frail and mortal you really are, and you learn to stop taking this “life” thing for granted (including the people closest to you).
Next thing you know, you’ve stopped wasting time on some much frivolous nonsense. For the first time in a very long time, you find yourself living deep and sucking out all the marrow of life, to borrow from Thoreau.
You start thinking about the people around you, and the people who will still be around once you’re gone, and what you are leaving behind.
And you wonder WHY the heck it took you this long.
The short answer why it took you so long is: “Because you were immortal.”
Or at least you thought so.
With the media awash with so many stories about rock stars and thirty-year-old billionaires, we like to kid ourselves that life can be figured out quickly.
“Just be more like them. Easy.”
And then we believe it. And then the gods punish us for doing so. “Omnia Vanitas”.
And then we learn and the cycle begins again.