To break free of these mortal bonds, Man has embarked upon quest after quest. Delving into the mystic and ages old books of yore, seeking out the legends and myths kept alive by scholars, passed down by peasants and nobles alike: to drink from the Holy Grail… to bathe in the Fountain of Youth… to sip the Elixir of the Philosopher’s Stone… Many names, for one quest.
One might say it is in our nature to focus only on what we can achieve, what could be… and not what is. So absorbed in our own selfish core, we don’t dare look upon our lives, fearing disappointment and the pangs of guilt. Why? Because, again, it’s our nature.
True as that may be, nature can be overcome: “That monster, custom, who all sense doth eat, Of habits devil, is angel yet in this” (Hamlet). With patience and the practice of true virtues, we can achieve the end of selfishness and banish it from our minds. From practice, into habits and finally to custom: we can conquer our own nature. How else does one face their fears? Heights, spiders, enclosed spaces or another Rebecca Black single, it’s all the same. Go sky-diving, subscribe to The Fear Factor, move into an elevator or learn to tie a hangman’s noose (let’s face it, there’s no other way).
We take for granted what we have, blind to our own blessings. Is not everything far more beautiful when we are mortal? One thing is sure in your life: that you will die. Whether its of old age or sickness, we are all doomed, and it is THIS doom that makes everything we experience in this life so valuable. The end will come, you may know of it, you may not, but it is there… waiting. But do not fear it, embrace it. Accept it. THAT is how we conquer death. It is in fearing it that we give ourselves up to it, that we lay down our arms and surrender.
The quest for mythical objects is a fool’s errand. It is BECAUSE our time on earth is limited that every moment becomes precious. It is BECAUSE we are doomed that we are so fortunate. Immortality is a curse, nothing holds meaning or significance. Carpe Diem... for it comes only once. And it will not come again. Therein lies it's value.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present. Cherish it.