Death is not a hunter unbeknownst by its prey.
One is always aware that it lies in wait.
Though life is merely a journey to the grave,
it must not be undertaken without hope.
Only then will a traveller’s story live on,
cherished by those who bid him farewell…
I remembered hearing that somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where. Perhaps I had read it somewhere, that’d have made the most sense. It had been sitting in the back of my mind, away from the purview of my everyday thoughts, for a while. Now that seemingly out of nowhere it came to mind, though, it occurred to me just how much sense it actually made.
I always used to be derisive of ideals like “live like you’re dying.” I felt that thinking like that gave an unnecessary sense of finality to everything I did, and only served to pile on more stress onto my already heaving mind. However, it had never really occurred to me to think about how much value the opposite mindset might have to it. The point isn’t to live like every moment is your last, since any moment very well could be. The point, and I’d go as far as saying that the answer to living a truly fulfilling life in general, is to live with the hope not only that every moment isn’t your last, but that each of those moments still matter anyway. The hope in your heart that somewhere out there, everything you do can touch the heart of somepony. Maybe not even somepony you’ve met or known before, but that your actions can affect anypony at all. Now that I’m thinking about it, I would conceivably believe that trying to form bonds with and subtly affect other ponies’ lives is our entire reason for existence.
It’s really funny, though. Not too long ago in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t have thought this at all. I really have changed, haven’t I? Well, yes. Of course I have. My friends have all shaped who I am now, just like I’ve shaped the lives of all of my friends, right?
I don’t know, I’m just one mare thinking to herself. I can’t claim to know what the reason for our existence is, or what the answer to life could be. Still, though, if I had to think of one right now, this is probably the closest to what I would come up with.
And I’ve got to admit, it makes you think. About life, love, friendship, and more than anything, mortality.
Since as true as it is that forming bonds is important, it’s also true that death cannot be stopped, no matter what.
So does that mean that somepony who dies young or doesn’t reach out to anypony before their death had a less meaningful life than somepony who lived a full life surrounded by friends?
No, I don’t think so.
What it means is that no matter how long your lifespan is, no matter how many hearts you can actually touch in that lifespan, that you should live life to its absolute fullest. Not like you could die any day, but like you couldn’t.
To live like you could live forever and never die by any means. To stop taking risks, to stop worrying about small things so that there’s nothing getting in the way of you when you want to live your life.
That, I think, might’ve been the answer I was looking for, and the point of this whole thing.
I can’t be certain, though.
Comments by Kyronea:
While not quite a story per se, this is nevertheless a very fascinating piece. Twilight musing upon the philosophies of living life, on death, and on the existential nature of everything. While I’m curious as to what prompted her, in this particular case, to ponder these things, I definitely enjoyed reading her viewpoint. It’s realistic, but with a dash of optimism, perfectly in character.