Last week I shared quotes about living life; today I thought we’d check out commentary starting with what life is.
Sren Aaby Kierkegaard wrapped it up neatly when he said, “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.”
Alan Bennett’s opinion is more depressing, “Life is generally something that happens elsewhere.”
Andrew Brown suggests that for many people these days ‘elsewhere’ refers to cyberspace, “The Internet is so big, so powerful and so pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.”
Pearl Buck has, to my mind, a more upbeat and accurate belief, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”
For the many people who buy into Bennett’s attitude, while laying the blame elsewhere, I recommend they consider the words of Louis L’Amour, “There comes a time when it lies within a man’s grasp to shape the clay of his life into the sort of thing he wishes to be. Only the weak blame parents, the times, lack of good fortune, or quirks of fate.”
Shaping your life usually means change. Change is a choice; a choice that every person makes many times during their life. William James offers three things to do to make it happen. He says, “To change your life;
-Do it flamboyantly
Good advice, especially when we remember Winston Churchill’s wise words, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
But how do we know if we’re doing it correctly? We don’t; we can only do our best. As Goethe tells us, “Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.”
If you do look backwards know that you will find many things that in hindsight would be better done differently or not at all, but rather than wasting time on regrets consider Tallulah Bankhead’s attitude, “If I had my life to live over again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”
I’ll leave you to day with this thought and a ling to my favorite Rule.
Diane Ackerman said, “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
I vehemently agree and expounded on that in the very first Rule I posted way back in 2006.
Flickr image credit: Joe Wolf