“I don’t want to die.” He said.
“That’s great and all, but do you want to live?” She replied.
“Isn’t it the same thing?”
No. No, it isn’t.
The principal difference between not wanting to die and wanting to live is motivation. Like the lone surviving branch of this tree – its struggle for survival is born of fear. It could be the fear of anything: the unknown, loss, uncertainty, pain, FOMO, anything at all. Wanting to live, on the other hand, is motivated by hope and love: hope for the future, love of self, love of others one may not want to leave, love of life itself.
The conversation has been gnawing in the back of my mind for ages. Not wanting to die has implications – hopelessness, terror, weakness, a lack of personal agency – control over your own life. Whereas wanting to live implies hopefulness, strength, courage, determination, adventurousness, the ability to decide what becomes of you.
When circumstances create havoc in our lives, I wonder how often we stop living and simply try to avoid dying? Would we notice the shift immediately or would it creep up on us slowly, insidiously, invasively, until one day we realize we have merely been surviving and not living? How would we know? What could we do to prevent the creep of death in life?
Action Vs. Reaction – I suppose how we behave is the difference between waiting for inevitable death and living life to the fullest. Are we reacting to circumstances or purposefully moving forward. Are we staying afloat or swimming? The thought made me take stock of where I am. Am I actively working toward living my best life or only getting through the days? I was comforted to realize that even though the road has been long and bumpy, I haven’t stopped walking.
So, keep your head up. Fix your eyes on the horizon, and crawl, walk, skip, swim, run, leap, or bound ahead. LIVE!!
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.