Life is Spontaneous

December 17, 2007
By James Kleinekracht, Nicholasville, KY

Has life ever hit you in the head like a ton of bricks? It all happens very quickly and comes from nowhere. This has happened to me more than once. Some examples are when my house caught on fire, when my great-uncle died, and when my dog drowned in the neighbor’s pool. I believe that life is spontaneous and is always changing.

My house had caught on fire while we were putting up the Christmas tree. It was only a small fire and only burned my father’s hand. This still haunts me today. What if it wasn’t small, what if the entire kitchen caught on fire? This makes me think that my life could change in a heartbeat with no notice. But, I am still thankful it wasn’t worse.

We went to see my Great-Uncle Ernie one weekend and he was in great shape, smiling and laughing the entire time. The next day he was lying in the hospital deathly ill. It all happened so fast. The next thing I remember is sitting in the church pew listening to my Great-Aunt speak about his life with my mother crying next to me. This showed me life can end at any moment and that we should live life for now, not later.

My dog was very curious and jumped over into my neighbor’s yard. She then fell into the pool. At first she probably liked the coolness of the water. She couldn’t get out and treaded water till she was exhausted. She then drowned and was found by my neighbors who were trying to figure out what their dog was barking at. I heard this as I got home from school and it shocked me to the very bone. I learned that life was like a loose see-saw and could switch sides whenever it wanted.

All of these experiences have taught me to live for the moment, not the future. Life can be at its best if you live for now, not tomorrow. I believe we should live for the moment because life is too spontaneous to know what will happen next. You’ve lived in the past, you live in the present, and you may live in the future. As Marcus Aurelius puts it “Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you. Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.” To me this means to live each day to its fullest. My experiences with this are very memorable and they have affected me throughout my life. I will live treasuring each moment and following this creed till the day I die in memory of my Great-Uncle!


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