Speaking of death, look up in the sky.
Right this very second, millions of stars are simultaneously exploding, creating a symphony too beautiful to fathom. Galaxies, light years across, colliding into each others; the black holes at their centers merging, spewing out trillions of tons of raw energy into the universe, that would fuel the creation of next generation of stars!
On that scale, a human life a ephemeral – like a blip in the cosmic background. In the blink of an eye, it is over. Now come back to your tiny human mind, and consider how comically improbable your life is. That a bunch of lifeless molecules would come together, and somehow attain the power of consciousness; then for the briefest of moment, they would look around them in awe as they experience the magic of life and the symphony of the universe for the first time. And then as abruptly they took their first breath, they would take their last, and decay back into the lifeless molecules they once were. How amazing is that!
Close your eyes.
Good. Now, take a deep breath and just think about it.
Think about how crazy and astounding and preposterous and breathtaking your existence is! Tell me – have you ever fallen madly in love? Have you ever felt crushing heartbreak? Or insane jealousy, or intense anger, or spine-chilling fear? Don’t you realize how magical this ability is – the ability to feel. It’s something that even angels don’t have!
And not just feel, you have the ability to create! You can dream the wildest dreams, and then breathe life into them. You can create ideas, write books, build companies – do literally anything. Everything that you see around you – every inventions, every piece of technology – was once just a wild idea in somebody’s mind. And then, it happened. That’s how entire civilizations were built.
You don’t even have to go that deep to figure out this mystery. Just think about the last time you walked barefoot on wet green grass on a dew-soaked March morning. The last time you danced in the rain. The last time you licked an ice-cream cone. The last time you felt the cool breeze blowing against your face. The last time you got lost while going down an unfamiliar path. The last time you saw a baby smiling. The last time you helped that old man carry his bags. The last time you showed extraordinary courage that you never knew you had.
Do you see it now?
I know that right now, you are scared. You are worried. You have the weight of the world on your shoulders. You have got millions of problems and you have no clue how to solve them. But in a few decades, when you are gone, none of this would matter. I guess most people spend their lives with the feeling that they were born with a script. And life is all about acting out that script. They constantly feel that there is something that they have to do, someone they have to be. They don’t know what that someone or something is, but they believe that unless they are doing and becoming that, they are not fulfilling their life’s purpose.
The truth that they never realize is that humans are born, not with a script, but with a slate. And that slate is totally blank. Life isn’t about living out the script, it’s about filling that blank slate. And the beautiful thing is that you can fill it with anything you want. You have to write your own story – create your own universe.
So I’ll say this to you, the asker –
Yes, it’s true that one day we are born. And yes, one day we’ll die. But between those two points, there is a space. And in that space we have the power to create our destiny.
And that’s the whole point of the funny thing we call life.