Life...is the interval of time between birth and death.
That is the physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence.
“If you know nothing at all in life, know this;
That yesterday is a canceled cheque;
Tomorrow is a promissory note;
Today is the only cash you have;
…so spend it wisely…” (S. Cha)
I recently received the quote above and I thought it quite profound in its estimation of life. I must confess I don’t often reflect on the full constitution of life and its depth of meaning…which I suppose is not prudent for one yet to navigate through life, seeking a station and place for purpose. However on this occasion I ponder on this very question…What is life?
Life can be defined as, ‘the property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism’. However I prefer this definition, ‘the physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence’.
A cancelled cheque refers to a cheque that has been cashed or paid [http://www.investorwords.com/5435/cancelled_check.html]. When we consider our own lives in this way, a cancelled cheque could refer to successes we achieved as well as failures we paid for. Those that were successes signify the things in our past that we got right, the battles we won, the lives we touched, the hope fulfilled and general good times…The failures we paid for refers to the those things we got wrong and the regrets of the past, the things we didn’t achieve, the battles lost, the time wasted and joy lost…I find that there are two types of people in life; those who spend a lot of their present, living in the past, regretting and living out the consequences of their failures with no hope of being present in the now. We may know that the past is time spent that we cannot recover, yet often people take the view that if the ponder on it long enough or dwell in its failures, those cancelled cheques would somehow become paid. The reality is that those who are trapped in the issues of yesterday, they completely miss living their today.
Tomorrow…the day after today…the future… the unknown…the dreams yet to be fulfilled… Those who are not focused on their past regrets are often focused on worrying about their future. The bible tells us that, ‘no man is promised tomorrow’, that is, you do not know the day and time you will die… so what is the point of worrying? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan for our futures, but once we have made plans, we need to start making headway to achieving them by living in the now. Being afraid that you won’t achieve or succeed tomorrow often paralyses people and stops them from trying to do anything…FEAR, a state of mind that says, ‘I can’t’ often robs us of the promise of tomorrow and all its possibilities… A promissory note can therefore be described as a promise to pay a negotiable amount. Therefore God determines how much time you receive in your future which is changeable until you posses it. [http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/promissory-note.html]
Cash is the physical currency you have in hand that has a corresponding value / worth that is at your disposal today [http://www.investorwords.com/747/cash.html]. This is today, the now opportunities, the things we see, feel and experience in the present. What we are doing with our now is what is more important than what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. No is when we can make positive changes to mitigate the effects of our past mistakes on our future. Now is when we can refocus and redirect our energies into the most important things. Now is the time to make a positive impact on our local communities, invest in the future of the next generation and have an overall positive impact in the now… Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Life must have a purpose beyond satisfying self, seeking for its own and gaining for its own benefit…A life that constantly looks back, overlooks today in fear of what its tomorrow will bring and sets out to achieve for itself alone is indeed a wasted life…