Q. I was driving in the car with my sister the other day and that song, "Live like you are dying" came on the radio. I told her that you had expressed how much you hated that song. She didn't understand. "How can anyone hate this song?" So my question is really from her. How can anyone, you, hate this song?
A. Thank you for your question. This is something very near and dear to my heart. Let me start off by saying that I don't hate this song. I don't have the energy for that kind of thing. To me, hating something seems like it could turn into a full time job. There is all the picketing and talk show appearances. The websites to host and the blogs to update. Not the mention the manifestos and hate mail to write. Just finding the appropriate addresses and emails takes time and effort. Then there is the cost of the poster board, dowels, markers, brushes and tempera paint. I already have too many things on my schedule to dedicate any time to hating something. And if I were to commit to a cause, it wouldn't be this song. It would probably be something like human trafficking or In and Out's fries. But most likely human trafficking.
In the case of the "Live like you are dying" song, I simply don't like it. That's as far as it goes. And not liking something is much less of a commitment. Not liking can be, and usually is, very passive. And that's what I have the time and energy for at this point in my life.
And now a list of reasons why I don't like that song you mentioned. (It's one of those made up lists with random numbers so it looks like it's a list so long that it can't be taken in during one read. But really it's just some points bulleted out there.)
If I was living like I was dying:
#12. I would not put a dime into savings. Or retirement. Or probably car insurance. My credit card debit would be much higher. As would my cholesterol.
#56. I would not spend anytime making hand outs about cubes, cones and cylinders... Or spheres.
#73. I'd show up to work around noon. Or not at all. And when they'd ask where I was, I'd say, "Right where I want to be I suppose. You see, I'm dying. At least I'm living like I'm dying. And If I'm going to be dead soon, I don't want to spend my last days at work. So I slept in and watched some cartoons with the kids. We ate cake and ice cream for breakfast and brushed out teeth with Kool-aid... What's that?.. Fired?.. Well okay, if you feel good about firing the guy who's living like he's dying. Go ahead then. See if I care... And peace be with you, we are all one."
#77. ... Oh yeah, right. Well, you see. I didn't file those taxes because I was pretty sure I'd be dead by the time the IRS noticed.
#91. I'd spend a lot more time apologizing. "Listen, sorry about that letter I wrote. You see, I thought I was dying and I just wanted to get that off my chest. I probably should have just taken it with me to my grave. In hind sight that would have been the better choice. But living like you are dying can really change one's perspective... Really, it's pretty taxing to wake up every day and think, this is it, I'm dying today... So yeah, there's that. And I really am sorry. Next time I'll just write the letter, I won't actually have it delivered... Good news though, I'm not dead."
Though it is a romantic sentiment I don't think it's very practical. And if there is one thing I am, it's practical. So I'm going to live like I'm going to be an old man who lives in a house and has food to eat and electricity to power my television. I'm going to live like I'm going to live for a long time.
Hope that helps,