How to Save a Life

It’s a new year, and yet it’s already filled with sadness and trauma. I just lost two good friends in a span of a month, and my grandpa a few months ago. It’s already tough dealing with one loss, but two more? It’s just been overwhelming. Even though I was not as close to these two friends of mine as I would like, I still cannot get over the shock and sadness I felt when I found out about what happened to them. It felt like it was just yesterday I was talking to them at the school cafeteria, doing community service with them, drinking it up at a party, practicing with them for a show, or even talking to them on Facebook. And then today, it feels weird knowing that I will never see or hear from them again.

It just sucks.

These were two great, young individuals who were loved by many, who had  big futures ahead of them, and had many more awesome memories waiting for them, but fate decided that it was their time to go. And that’s what saddens me the most. However, while coping with their passings, these series of unfortunate events has really got me thinking these past few days that really changed my perspective on life and death, and my relationships with other people.

I realized two major things that we as human beings should be reminded of each day.

1) To never take life for granted. We only have one life that comes with the mystery of “what our purpose is to live, and how long do we have to pursue or fulfill this purpose?” With that in mind, we should be grateful for each passing second, minute, hour, and day we live and breathe–to be given the opportunity to grow and pursue our dreams, and to learn more about ourselves. We never know when it will be our time… whether it will be tomorrow, or the next day, or the following day, or even right now, so we should live knowing that opportunities today may not be there tomorrow. Thus, we must take those opportunities in order to live life as much as we can and to live life for those who cannot. I’m not saying to go out there and make reckless decisions, but to appreciate the amount of time you have been given and to spend that time wisely with whatever you always wanted to do, and to make some positive changes. Therefore, we must not take life for granted, and we must not let those people who died before us to die in vain. For those who were fortunate to live on, we are their legacy.

2) Live in the present; since every moment may be a critical moment in time. A common saying that most people commonly ignore. We must not dwell too much on the past or plan too much for the future. We can learn from them and grow from them, and we can take necessary steps to go towards the direction you want to go, but we must not also forget to enjoy the present moment in time. There are times we get caught up in regret or fear that something may happen that we lose focus on what is right in front of us. And then we miss out on yet another opportunity for happiness, or to make someone else happy. If you ever watched “About Time,” the message is the same.  Each moment in time there is a chance to make positive or negative decisions that may affect how you live your life overall. No matter how big or small these decisions are they add up where even the smallest decisions can make the biggest impact in your life or someone else’s life. You can call it fate, or destiny, what have you, but know that whatever you believe in– even if you believe that your decisions are planned out for you or not–either way you have some sort of control of what the outcome may be. So let’s try to make each moment special, and just forget about all the stress and worries in your life for a brief minute and to have fun, smile, laugh or do something good or whatever makes you feel good. After all, the present is a present. Let’s enjoy and celebrate life because I’m sure the deceased would want us to.

In memory of Amando Mandap, Ray Basilio and Nick Votaw. Thanks for being great examples of how we should live our lives. And thanks for being a part of mine and other people’s lives, and making a positive impact on us. You will be missed, but you will also be celebrated. Rest in peace.

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