One Day...

January 5, 2009
By Heather Jackson, Columbia, KY

If you had only one more day to live on this Earth, how would you
choose to spend it? Songs, stories and movies have been based on this
thought-provoking question, but have you ever really stopped to think, “What if”?
Most people don’t take this question into consideration until something happens that puts us in perspective. For me that something happened to be hearing about
the recent diagnosis of terminal cancer in a 15 year old boy living in Covina,California. He has a one in two hundred chance of survival. However, he tries to live his life as normally as possible. With this tragic news on my mind, I
started to consider how I would react knowing I had only a small amount of time to live. How could anyone react to that? How would I spend my time?
Now hold on, the name of this is Teen Ink. Does any of this actually
apply to teens? Well, teens tend to believe they’re invincible. We typically find ourselves with this idea that we’re larger than life. Sorry, it’s not true.
Now, I could go on to tell you how teens don’t have some magical force field that keeps them perfectly safe, but regardless of what I say it won’t sink in until something happens, something that really makes you think about what you would do if you only had one last day to live.
You see, we teens may have a state of mind that no harm can come of us,
but does that make our priorities shallower than those who are older? I wanted to know. I decided to ask different teens what they would do if they only had one day to live. I think you’ll be just as amazed as I was when you hear the results.
The first few answers I received went a little something like this: just have fun, tell everyone I know what I truly think about them, and have a huge party with my best friends. Don’t worry it gets better than this. The next responses I
received really had substance: I would spend my last day with my closest family and friends, laughing and remembering all the good times we had shared. Another
meaningful response, I would visit all those who I loved telling them how much they meant to me. One more heartfelt answer I received said, given one day to live, I would spend it trying my very best to be an inspiration to all those around
me. Many others I received were similar to these answers.
After comparing these responses, I came to a conclusion. We teens are not
nearly as narcissistic as we’re made out to be! Over 60% of those who I received answers from gave me thoughtful responses. I was very proud of my age group with this news. We are made out to be quite shallow at this age, but after seeing
these answers to such an in-depth question, my faith was restored.
Now some teens did give me some answers that made me wonder if
we teens have any sense at all. Does that mean some of us are shallow? Well,could be, but the truth could be simply that those teens haven’t had anything happen to them that causes them to deeply consider what having only one day left really means.
So, in conclusion I want to leave you to think about what it means to
live every moment like your last, because you truly never know what it’s like to “Live Like You Were Dying” until something happens to change your perspective.

“Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that
take your breath away.” -- author unknown.

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This article has 2 comments.

meganh95 said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 1:15 am
OMG this is great! heather is my best friend EVER and i am SOO SOO happy this is in here

this is the BEST =)

tj1265 said...
on Jan. 16 2009 at 12:40 am
I liked the article!! It was very well written and made me think. I really love the quote at the end!


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