Smiling at Death

Memento Mori, Bushido, Y.O.L.O.

It seems that every generation has their own reminder that Death is near by and that something must be done. Personally, I think that the last one was used purely for the sake of doing stupid things.

In either case, there is truth in all of these, “Death is always around.” But what is often mistaken is how this should be taken, some people see this as an excuse to live life without consequences, others that one should plan for as many occasions as possible; but for me, I’ve heard both extremes and from that I’ve found a balance between the pros and cons of both.

Honor.

It’s a bit old-fashioned, but I believe that if one lives honorably, they retain the “no regrets” aspect without perverting it beyond a point, as well as the “be prepared” aspect that the other extreme favors.

I mean think about it, I can live and have fun, but not bang any girl simply for the sake of hooking up, I can train my body and save my money for a rainy day without being scared of every single possible outcome and have days where I can relax as well.

To have honor to me, means to hold yourself to a particular standard, so long as you meet those standards, on any level of your life, then you can honestly say, “I have no regrets.” Even if you just died then and there, that standard helps keep you in check, on any point in your life, even if you’re in the middle of transitions, which is basically more often than not.

Imagine the self that you want to be: courageous, smart, likable, healthy, witty, tough, always says the right thing at the right time, and so on. This is the standard that you have to hold yourself to.

This is who you want to be, but that you aren’t right now, for X reasons, and that’s normal, but that’s the thing, if you say, “I’m not this and this is normal.” You’ve shut yourself down, then and there. You need to say, “I’m not this but I’d like to be.” this is the norm. It should be normal to attempt to make little changes to your current character in order to resemble your standard character. It’s amazing to think that nearly any aspect that one desires can be obtained if they simply worked hard enough for it.

For me, I want to live without any regrets, hence the Bank girl, I don’t want to look back and say, “If only I had asked her out, If this, If that, etc” I’d rather ask her out, be rejected, and then move on. So for me, at this point in time, I need ask this girl out, not for some depressing emotion or for some societal obligation, but because in order for me to remain honorable to myself, in order for me to continue to say, “I have no regrets”; this is what I must do.

Granted, my life isn’t hanging on the response this girl gives me, but if I have little regrets here and there, then I’ll eventually have huge regrets later on. If I chicken out at this small incident, then it’s no wonder why I would chicken out at something major, like that accident that happened right before me. I need to test my courage by actually doing something that scares me, in this case, the only two endings this could have are:

  1. She says, “Yes”
  2. She says, “No”

So what is there to fear? Death.

If I don’t live the life in the way that I would want to live it, then I’m scared of Death, because of business left undone and things left unsaid, which are basically Regrets.

In order to not be scared of Death, but in fact smile at Death, I need to live without fear, without hesitation, and ultimately without regrets. Because if I have done this, what is there to fear? I’ve done all that I wanted to do, and I did it by what I thought was right. There would be no reason for me to be ashamed in front of my family, my friends and even God.

And that’s the whole point of this, God didn’t give us Death to scare us, we gave it to ourselves. It came with the knowledge of what is Right and what is Wrong. Being scared of something and not facing, it is simply the wrong way to approach it, you’ve abandoned your goals, and you’ve let the fear control you, and eventually you’ll live Life the wrong way.

It’s only when you’re scared of something and then you face it, does it become a good thing to be scared, to face it, and to live Life the right way.

“I knew a man who once said, ‘Death smiles at us all, all a man can do is smile back.'” – Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator)

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