Today i was informed that one of my friends had passed away. On Friday evening, he went to bed like any other night… never to wake up again. He would have turned 28 today.
Among all the things most of us take for granted on a regular basis, such as being healthy, having a roof over our head, change in our pocket and food in our fridge, Life probably is what we are the least appreciative of. Everyone, at some point hears or says, “life is short”, but how truly aware of it are we? It is sad that such tragedies need to occur so that we remember how short life can really be, and maybe realize that we do need to make the most of it while we have it.
Rest in Peace Jalil.
Extract from If Only It Were True by French author, Marc Levy.
<< “Every moment is forever.” Lauren decided to tell him a story – a game, something that would distract him, she said. She told him to imagine he’d won a contest. The prize was that every morning, a bank would open an account in his name containing 86,400 dollars. There were only two rules: “The first rule is that everything you fail to spend is taken from you that night. You can’t cheat, you can’t switch the unspent money to another account: you only spend it. But when you wake next morning, and every morning after that, the bank opens a new account for you, always eighty-six thousand, four hundred dollars, for the day. Rule number two is that the bank can break off the game without warning. It can tell you at any time that it’s over, and that it’s closing the account and there won’t be another one. Now, what would you do?”
Arthur wasn’t sure he understood.
“It’s very simple: every morning when you wake up, they give you eighty-six thousand, four hundred dollars, on the sole condition that you spend it in one day. If you don’t spend it all by the time you go to bed, you lose whatever you didn’t spend. But this game – this windfall – can stop at any moment, understand? So my question is, what would you do if you were handed a prize like that?”
He didn’t have to think long to answer. He’d spend every dollar on pleasure and on gifts for the people he loved. He’d find a way to use up every cent offered by this magic bank to bring happiness into his life and the lives of everyone around him. “And even the lives of people I don’t know, because I don’t think I’d manage to spend eighty-six thousand, four hundred dollars just on me and my friends every day. But what’s your point?”
She answered, “We all have that magic bank account: it’s time! A big account, filled with fleeting seconds. Every morning when we wake up, our account for the day is credited with eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds, and when we go to sleep every night, there’s no carryover into the next day. What hasn’t been lived during the day is lost; yesterday has vanished. Every morning the magic begins again, with a new line of credit of eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds. And don’t forget rule number two: the bank can close our account at any time and without any warning. At any moment, life can end. So what do we do with our daily ration of eighty-six thousand, four hundred seconds? Aren’t seconds more important than dollars?”
Since her accident, she told him, she had realized afresh each day how people understood and appreciated the importance of time. “If you want to know what a year of life means, ask a student who just flunked his year-end exams. Or a month of life: talk to a mother who has just given birth to a premature baby and is waiting for him to be taken out of the incubator before she can hold him safe and sound in her arms. Or a week: interview a man who works in a factory or a mine to feed his family. Or a day: ask two people madly in love, who are waiting to see each other again. Or an hour: talk to someone with claustrophobia who’s stuck in a broken-down elevator. Or a second: look at the expression on the face of a man who has just escaped from a car wreck. Or one thousandth of a second: ask the athlete who just won the silver medal at the Olympic Games, and not the gold he trained for all his life. Life is magic , Arthur, and I know what I’m saying, because since my accident I’ve appreciated the value of every instant. So I beg you, let’s make the most of all the seconds that we have left.” >>
All photos © Copyright Sophie L. Meunier Photography 2012.