Instead of focusing on living longer, make the years you live more meaningful.
When I was a young adult I used to look forward to insightful and inspirational columns by a Catholic priest, Father Lou Guntzelman, in the county’s weekly newspaper.
In one column, Father Lou was reflecting on how we are desperately focused on extending our time here on earth. We’ve created whole industries concerned with how we exercise, how we eat, even how we take extreme safety measures (ever noticed the safety laws and warning labels out there?), all with the aim of helping us live longer. We take all of these precautions, while at the same time scientists and medical professionals continuously search for ways to prolong human life.
But Guntzelman asks the necessary question of why are we so concerned with adding more years, if those years have no meaning. It is more important to focus on the meaning of our existence than obsess about its duration.
Indeed, we do everything to make our lives last longer, and yet all those years are full of consumerism and pointless endeavors. We need to focus less on adding years, and more on filling the years we have with authentic living.
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky