Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

No.  That is an easy answer.  Sure I would want to read how the first 37 years of my life played out in a narrative.  Not very interestingly I would guess, but I don’t want to know the ending.

Part of the joy of life, part of the point of life, is to live it in wonder.  It is a less interesting life if you know how it plays out in the end.  I am a person who loves sports (at least I think I still do, it’s complicated).  As such I have occasionally saved games on the DVR and watched them later, even if I knew the outcome.  I don’t watch those games the same way as I do when I don’t know the outcome or watch the game live.

The urgency is gone.  I don’t live and die with every touch of the ball or every mistake.  That is the part that is great about sports and about life.  Everything has the potential to be life changing and important.  If you knew the ending, and the path leading to that ending, you would treat individual moments and the people you encounter differently.  That would probably also effect the ending of your story.

How do you function after finding out what the next 4 days or 40 years of living will be?  Honestly, what if the last page of the book is you finishing the last page of the book, getting in your car to go to the grocery store, and getting plowed into by an 18-wheeler and dying on impact?  That has to effect what your next step is going to be.

Or perhaps, you find out the date and time that you meet the person you’re going to marry, but you also find out the date and time of the final divorce proceeding in which they take half of everything you own.  Do you allow yourself to meet that person knowing the fiscal and emotional crater they will leave with you?

We live in a fast forward/microwave era, so I am sure many people would love to know how it all plays out to the end.  The internet and Twitter are constantly trying to proclaim something as the greatest of all time.  We are in a constant state of skipping to the end.  We forget to enjoy the ride, because the end is going to be the same for all of us, death.  It may happen today, tomorrow, or 40 years from now, but I can assure that is how it ends.  That is why you must enjoy the journey and live as if you may die today.

Then again, this could be a good thing.  Maybe reading the book that was written for you today is not the book that will be written next week.  The act of reading the book and seeing where your life is destined could force you to change things and change the ending.  Maybe, like Ebeneezer Scrooge, seeing your bleak and lonely future will make you change your ways for the better.  Or maybe you burn it all down and end it sooner rather than later.


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