Living as if it is the very last day

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I guess when you get right down to it, the only important thing in life is to learn how to "just relax." The world is going to keep spinning no matter what happens, and there is nothing we can do to overcome our fate. We will all die in the end, and most of us won't live long enough to get social security, even if it is still around.

I used to be really uptight and angry half of the time. I would always worry about what I was doing: if it was right, if it was wrong, or if it was beneficial to anyone. I worried constantly; until the eighth grade when I witnessed an incident that caused it all to come crashing down on me.

At that time I didn't have any friends; at least it felt that way to me. The people I used to hang out with were all ignoring me. I was alone. I spent most of my eighth grade year in a corner of my school's commons listening to music. Then, observer that I was, I saw a kid get beat up just because he stepped on someone else's shoe.

After that I thought to myself, "How could someone get so angry over something so small?" I thought about it for days. No matter what I did I could still remember the look on the kids face as he was being pounded into the dust. I could tell he didn't know what to think; it was just an accident.

After trying to understand what happened for about six weeks, I came to the conclusion that I was worrying about everything too much. I realized finally that if we look at every aspect of humanity, every culture and religion, there is one similarity: We all die in the end.

Since I realized my mortality, I decided it wasn't enough just trying to live a regular life and be "special and unique" just like everyone else. I knew I had to live like it was the last day on earth, because it might be.

This belief in life for me is tested every day: When I see someone make a big deal over nothing, or when I see our own political leaders fighting over the "Ideal America." But after all is said and done, I am reassured when I think back to watching the helplessness of one kid trying to escape an angry foe, watching him as he flailed his hands in front of himself trying to block the kicks and punches.

How is that reassuring you might ask? Last year my parents told me they were getting a divorce. I looked at my family and was stricken with reality. I knew then that my family was never going to be the same. My mother and father had changed; I would never have the whole family over for Thanksgiving again. What could I do but hold onto my beliefs?

I still live life to the fullest and do what I can do to make every day count. Hopefully it will always be that way. Until I find a reason to change, I will live every day like it's my last day on earth.

• Mike Fraiser is a 16-year-old student at Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School.

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