Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Being...

Recently I read the book, the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. I really enjoyed this book and it was one of my new favorites. It's not exactly a light read but it's entertaining and relatively easy to get through. I won't bore you with a synopsis here... because the main point of me writing this post is to post something that I wrote in a notebook after reading the book. I reread what I wrote the other day and decided that I wanted to share it... So here it is!

"If we have only one life to live, we might as well not have lived at all."

I'm not sure how much I agree with this quote, and I doubt Kundera truly felt this way, but it certainly brings up a lot of questions. He makes some valid points... Why bother to live your whole life learning lessons and knowing what you would do with a second chance if you will never be presented with a chance to apply your newfound sagacity? What's the point? Why must we toil here on earth to die only knowing what we would have done better or what we don't necessarily regret? It would make more sense to reenter the world and have a chance to undo your regrets and redo your greatest joys with the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate them more. I'm sure many people leave this world with few or no regrets, but who doesn't wish they had enjoyed certain parts of their life a little more or wouldn't change a single thing about the life they lived? I'd wager not many. I can't help but feel that countless people have figured out the key to a happy and successful life on their deathbed - either at peace at last, or deeply saddened by their inability to put it to use. The bitch of it all is that I don't believe there is a universal key to happiness and a good life... each person has their own. Figuring yours out on your deathbed is not only useless to you, but also to the world around you. Life can be pretty cruel, I think.

Remember... that was written in a notebook so it's not the most coherent writing but I don't feel like redoing it. I still agree with what I wrote, and while I certainly don't agree that we might as well not have lived at all, I agree that it does seem slightly cruel to only have one shot at life. Sure we can apply some lessons learned to later situations in life, but what about those lessons learned that never find a place again in our life? What good did they really do us? Wouldn't you rather just have the chance to not make that mistake in the first place?

Just something to think about... or not...

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