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How much of your life you'd change had you know how much days left you'll live?
“Oh, there is just one thing—a question I wanted to ask. I have been thinking of tossing a coin later this evening. If it comes up heads, then I will live, for now. But if it turns up tails, I will kill myself. Do you think there is anything the matter with this idea?
The quote was taken from a book, a consultation from an averted suicide case from a 30 year old father with a Ph.D. in computer science. David was an exceptional child that showed a stellar academic capability throughout his childhood that continued to earn a Ph.D. at age 23 and immediately gone to work for a major corporation with a very high salary, married few years later with a woman from his employment. At age 30, he undergo therapy sessions with George Atwood in which the story was surfaced and written inside his book. David said what was quoted in the book, later reasoned because “David did not care whether he lived or died because his life had never been his own in any case.”
The case of David, did live inside of my head rent free for couple of months after I initially encountered it. In much cases in life, as much as we have the illusion of free will, we choose what we want to eat, what we want to do with our time, but there are sometimes where we just immediately awake and felt that this is not what we really wanted yet we couldn’t even find what’s the first step we need to do to get what we wanted.
For the longest time, life felt so simple, it’s just a journey to the very simple American dream. stack enough money to have a family and provide for further generation, sure we have some questions behind our head that we may we have never truly explore or asked. We may be just doing it because everyone seems to be doing it, and if everyone’s is doing it. Or even worse, if it feels everyone kept making us wear horse eyes towards it, they will justify it because they are affected to the decisions that we have to make for ourselves, thus making it as if we make the decision for ourselves.
Then I ask myself, How much of my life would change had I know how much days left I'll live? Would it change anything at all? Would you appreciate your life more? Would the fact of knowing your days are numbered change you at all as a person? And most importantly, will you finally feel in your life, that you are the one in fucking control. Has all the decision in your life that you’ve made up to this point, is the real you?
The interesting question, actually moved me because I actually feel that I would change a lot of shit, and only recently, I have been changing a lot of shit. For most of the time, I have been a prisoner to conformity, Only when I bend my view to do some things as if it’s a do or die scenario, I felt sick of waiting and I finally convinced and muster up the energy to do the right thing, the thing that I know I would be proud of. The thing that I can talk proudly of what I’ve done
Humans, Certainty, and Uncertainty.
In a lot of cases and experiences, we fucking hate uncertainty, it makes us anxious, nausea even. It swirls our stomach and there’s nothing worse than feeling that our life could fall at anytime, the right thing was all along to have set a clear stepping stones of what we want to leap forward and what we want to stand on. In some cases, we find certainty by gaining information people who have more experiences than us. It’s good that we have people to give us path to this grim uncertainty, what’s wrong is not leaving us a choice.
I have met several people who felt that he has never given a choice. For example, I was on a prestigious competition, me and a stranger beside me started talking and making random guesses who would win, when the winner announced, he started crying and he told me that his parent would not be happy of the outcome and he is scared to go home. I was lucky to not need to feel that way, still I empathized with him and asked myself whether it was his choice to be here in the first place, how much of his choices made him feel that it was owed.
Choices and Free Will.
I think a choice is the closes to a single determining factor of what we could call to have free will. There are moments of there seemed to only be an illusion of free will due to substantial consequences of our choices. You do this or else… You do this or you will bear shame, you do this or etc... The consequences of our choices that pins us to choice one over the other is what debase us and makes us less human. Once we are broken enough, we will fall to another statistics to the case of David. To see our life is nothing more of a coin toss, worse than coin toss even, because at least a coin toss is free of a string of accountability of a third party, it is perceived to be as pure faith.
It is of course more than anything else, a systematic problem. I personally believe the reason because no one could point out whose wrong and most of the time, the accountability of the puppet master of choices knows for themselves it is for the best for both parties—that they play as the puppet master. It is not necessarily about parents as my example, but anything is affected to our choices.
When I asked the question myself. “How much of your life you'd change had you know how much days left you'll live?” I began to think that death seems personal and death as much as it the end of life, should infer that life should seems personal and anything inside of it, should take into matter of a personal choice to it, it goes without saying. If I were to know that I only have 2 years to live, I would be awake with a more clear mind and anything i do will revolve and be sure of that this is what I truly wanted to do, I will live up to the fullest of my character and the things that I stand for. The weird thing is that why do I have to wait until I have to know how long I’ve lived?
What the fuck do I really want?
To this point of the article, this will feel more personal. I want to feel freedom every day of my life, I want to feel that I do the things I want to do because I want to do it, I don’t want to feel burdened of some weighted whimsical external expectations of others. I want to do it because I believe this is what is the most meaningful work that I can fucking do, there’s nothing best of what I’m currently doing than anything else. I want to have meaningful friendships and we believe and cherish the same fucking dream and believe that our effort will not go to waste and we will share the best of our abilities to see the fruit of labor and we will fucking appreciate it to the last days of our life, it will be the story that we will proudly share our family members and be really fucking contagious on the motivation that inspired us to do it. More than myself, I want people to feel the same way, it is what fuels my blood, it is the bane of my existence itself, it fucking radiates the tough and radiance spirit of what we call, the motivation to keep living and to believe that our life will not go to waste may unlike others that have lived before us as wandering spirits. My biggest fear would be to live a life that I feel never truly mine.
I am more than grateful if grateful is even the best word to describe to feel what I wanted to feel every day of my life in these recent days, I feel that I am making the choices I want to make and be surrounded with people that are working on the same dream, it hasn’t been easy if hard is the best word to describe how tough we had it. We have been turned down more that I could count, we have been walking on shared glass of uncertainties and be looked down with some people as a waste of time and potential. At least I know that I am doing it for the sake of my character and my belief. I know I only have got a limited time to do things right and I will continue to have high hopes with the best of my ability. I will not lay in my death bad wondering with doubts and steps that I wish I could’ve done better. I will not flip a coin to leave a choice whether it’s a good idea to leave this world ever so lifelessly.