This question has been tossed around in books, movies, tv shows and the like. It is a question that deals with the happy notion of unlimited possibilities and yet the negative reality of death.
Now, the scenarios below suggest that if money and all other constraints except time were not a factor, then what would you do? Meaning if I there is an option for you to go halfway around the world because that’s what you want to do on your last day, then do it without thinking of money or circumstance, just the value of time.
So here are four things that you can do if you knew you only had 24 hours to live:
1) Do what you’ve always wanted to do but never had a chance
Life has made each and everyone of us so busy that we don’t get to do a lot of things. If you’re one of the few lucky people who actually get to do what they want for a living, then that’s great, but as for the vast majority, a sick leave or an absent day usually means a day to do whatever you want.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to travel to Japan and eat authentic sushi or maybe you wanted to go to Hollywood and meet celebrities. Again, if money is not a constraint on your very last day on earth, wouldn’t you do what you’ve always wanted? Maybe it’s a singular act or a couple of things on your mind but the point is that now is the chance to do it.
2) Go totally crazy
Our generation of youth has devised this so-called YOLO mentality wherein you’re supposed to live in the moment because we only have one chance to live (hence the term YOLO, creative…right?) In this particular scenario, you don’t have an entire lifespan to go YOLO but you have exactly 24 hours to live. Now this is a perfect excuse to go berserk and the people around you can’t judge you because you only have one day left so why not maximize it to the fullest right?
I mean go crazy: tell your crush your feelings, skydive, surf the highest wave, have your favorite band play for your last night, eat the best meal of your life without counting the calories, and many many more.
You know how people have lists like “Things to do before I’m 30” or a Bucket List? But this 24 hour window shatters that idea because now you don’t have a couple of years to do it. In this brief day, how would you concise that list and do all of them?
3) Tell people what you never had a chance to say in person and vice versa
In Mitch Albom’s novel Tuesdays with Morrie, there’s a part of the story wherein Morrie (his dying mentor) had an idea of having a “live funeral” for him. The concept is that in this type of funeral, friends and relatives get a chance to speak so that the dying person can listen of what they thought of him versus the traditional way in funerals wherein people only get to say that kind of stuff when the person is already dead. The cool thing about it was that Morrie was not only able to listen to all of his loved ones, but he also got a chance to say what was on his mind.
In this 24 hour life span you have, you can gather your close friends and relatives and tell them what you’ve always told them. You may ask, why would I need that? I know my parents love me, I know my friends love me too so why bother? Trust me, in the face of death, things can change. There are a bunch of other emotions probably lingering in each of your relationships. There can be anger, forgiveness, regret, and a lot more emotions that make us human that both parties haven’t said out loud yet. Plus, I’m sure you have long lost friends and maybe even ex girlfriends that you always wanted to talk to or hear their side of the story.
4) Be normal. Live today as you’ve always lived
“Live each day as if it were your last.”
If anyone did follow this saying, the world will be totally different, believe me. We use quotes and proverbs from different people but if we really did live by them, our lives wouldn’t be boring and dull. If you really did live each day as if it were your last, then knowing you’ve got only a day to live shouldn’t shock you. If you have a righteous routine and maximize all the potential around you everyday, you won’t have to spend all your energy trying to squeeze all the things you want to do in a single day.
Personally, #4 or at least #3 is what I want to do, but if I can’t, there’s always the choice of doing #1 and try to be a superhero for a day.
So if you had only 24 hours to live, what would you do?