"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun".
- Into the Wild
I posted this quote on our Facebook page the other day as I am wont to do from time to time... It spoke volumes to me (I have been rather introspective and pensive as of late) and, judging by the number of "shares" it got, it spoke to many others as well. Of course a few folks pointed out that the man who scribed this quote in his journal died not long after it was written, which I guess for some justifies living a "safe" life. But in pointing out this man's folly and demise, they are forgetting the fact that this man died doing something he loved and felt passionate about, and dismissing his very poignant message: we're only here once, so why not live the heck out of life because the more we experience, the richer in soul and spirit we become. People can keep their hearts beating for many years and fail to ever truly live (we all know at least a few of these folks) so the fact that this man died - tragic as it was - doing something he felt very passionate about and loved, for him, was probably better than the alternative. While I do not begrudge anyone for living a "normal" life and know that many do this happily and willingly (I have done it before and will do it again as we find ourselves between adventures), I do find it interesting that so many people fail to see just how many of the people around them are actually living a life someone else wants them to live (be it a parent, a spouse, society...etc.) and are, in fact, dying slow and rather agonizing deaths in their very "safe and responsible" existences. Obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, self-medication with prescription and/or illicit drugs and depression (among other things) are huge problems in the United States today...so perhaps working for "the man" to attain the white picket fence, the dog and the Rolex aren't exactly fulfilling people like we have been bamboozled into believing?
Along the same vein, I came across this very interesting article about the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying which has been floating around the interwebz for a while. They are pretty eye-opening and very much in line with what I am waxing poetic about here: Live the life YOU want, laugh more, follow your dreams and work less. (I warned you I have been introspective lately...)
And just to finish off this random post with some more randomness, I leave you with the trailer of what is sure to be an inspiring documentary about an incredible individual who's legacy loudly reiterates the sentiments above:
I don't think we all need to live on sailboats, become extreme skiers or shed all of our worldly belongings and head off into the wilderness in order to live our lives fully and without regret - but to find something that excites you, challenges you, makes you grow as a person and fills your heart with passion and joy is probably a good start. To create your own horizon and find your new sun in each and every day. Thoughts?