By Dominick Jean | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @Domino_Jean
Looking out on the ocean always forces me into a state of melancholy. Not sad, merely thoughtful. I've made a lot of decisions while looking out over the waters of oceans, rivers or lakes. Good decisions, bad decisions, regretful decisions, joyful decisions, etc. The list goes on.
This particular time, I made no decision. I merely faced for the first time that wide expanse of blue water called the Gulf of St. Vincent and the Indian Ocean.
Instead, I thought about the word "decision." It has a sharpness to it that seems to indicate something clear cut, something simple and easy. And maybe our decisions are simple, but they're never easy.
Years later we are filled with regret. For chances we didn't take, for weaknesses we indulged and for people we failed.
We're also filled with laughter for the friends we made along the way, the songs we sang too loudly and the late night talks.
Good and bad, they remind me of Tennyson's poem "Ulysses" when he said,
"Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Maybe like that story of Ulysses we made bad decisions, we failed, but like him, WE DID SOMETHING. We made choices, for good or ill. And maybe it's just me, but I believe that every choice and decision will eventually work out for good. Maybe not the good we intended or even wanted, but it will certainly be good in the end.
Maybe that's just the nature of MY hope, but I digress.
Some people will never live. They shall walk the world breathing, but their eyes will be void of faith, love, sadness (yes, even sadness can be beautiful), laughter and all the gorgeous things that make life worth living.
I'm guilty of it sometimes, of forgetting that. I linger on the past, reflecting, too afraid of receiving another psychological bloody nose from those I cared about.
But life goes on each day.
You still have to laugh, you still have to cry, and you certainly still have to sing at the top of young lungs when you're in the car.
So laugh, cry, sing. Be sad, be happy, but DO something. Live fully.
G.K. Chesterton wrote once in his book "Orthodoxy," about the nature of courage and it's his words I would like to end with on just what kind of mentality we need to live fully.
" A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine."
So live furiously indifferent, drink wine, and sing loudly. Show the world you have the desire for life and all it's decisions.
And here's another pep talk, just in case you needed one.