August 8

It is astonishing how much more
people are interested in
lengthening life than improving it.

Charles C. Colton


Today's Meditation:

I see this a lot--people who want to be on this planet as long as possible, going to doctors to have them take care of any medical problems that might threaten their longevity, without ever really making any effort to improve their lives or the ways that they lead them.  But is life about living long?  Is adding extra years to our time here on the planet really something to aspire to?

We have to ask ourselves how we actually define life, don't we?  Is life defined by simply breathing and having our heart beating and blood flowing through our veins and arteries, or is there more to it?  We all have many ways available to us to make our lives more fulfilling and to improve the type and amount of service that we provide while we're here, but how often do we actually make the effort to take advantage of those opportunities?  Or do we simply allow the status quo to remain, since it's easier and less risky?  

Charles isn't criticizing people.  He simply says it's "astonishing," not terrible or stupid or anything like that.  But he is pointing out something that could be very important to us--there is a huge difference between making our lives longer and making our lives better.  People who learn that they'll be dying soon very often make their lives amazing for the limited amount of time they have left, but others who are able to live much longer amounts of time often do nothing at all to make their lives special at all.

We fear death, so we do our best to lengthen life.  I think sometimes we should fear coming to the end of our days and having tons of regrets for all the things we didn't do to improve our lives; if we lived by that fear, then we would probably do much more to make our lives more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Questions to consider:

What are three ways that you could improve your life in the near future?  What would it take to start working on them?

What's the difference to you between prolonging life and improving life? 

Why is it so often so important to us to lengthen our number of days here on this planet? 

For further thought:

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we
make of them; a person may live long yet live very little.



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