Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Life Really Worth Living - Part I

I read this article that many people have posted on their Facebook pages.

It's true that these top 5 wishes resonate with many of us, who often have never really thought about these wishes before. In a way, it's an epiphany for us, because we often have been labouring and striving... and I guess this article kinds of provides a catharsis for our inner desires.

The summary of the 5 deathbed regrets is below:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Then I read this comment in the article:
I was like this once. I was married to a man I thought I loved. But I was disconnected from all of my friends, and family. I had forgotten who I was, and what made me love the world. I made a difficult decision to leave that man, and since then, I have gotten back on the right track. Those friends and family were waiting for me when I was ready to be me again. Now I am happier than I have ever been. I have no regrets. I had forgotten just how much I loved me the way that I am, even if my ex-hubby didn't. I am living my dreams, and I am thankful for that every day.

After all that reading, one question bugged me. "Why is this article so popular?"

I think many of us post this 'cos
1. It's a healthy wake-up call as to what really matters in life.
2. We feel that this is something important others should know.

Still, I felt disturbed after reading the comment. I think that perhaps in our good intentions to help others find meaning in their lives... are we unintentionally encouraging others to live Epicurean lifestyles? Meaning that personal happiness is the most important thing in life, even at others' costs?

Initially I jumped to conclusions and wrote a lengthy tirade... but after some reflection, I think I was too one-tracked.

Morally speaking, if we Christians subscribed to this philosophy too, we could just divorce our spouses every time we didn't feel satisfied, that things were working out...

The nurse's article, no matter how well-meant, is inevitably incomplete.

So maybe we could do more, besides sharing the article. I think we need to consider carefully. Many people want to live truly meaningful lives... but in the end we need to help point people to the One who gives life meaning.

Anyway, I did wonder too: personally, do we find the article meaningful because it speaks what our hearts want to hear: that self-fulfillment is the most important goal of our lives?

I really don't think that's the truth. We were made for a cause greater than ourselves. Of course as a Christian, that would be Jesus. Haha.

Still, I ... really think many of us may be on a slippery slope if we start pursuing our own desires first instead of Him who gave us the ability to desire.

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