Daily Post / Faith & Truth / Family Life / The English Teacher

DP: This is Your Life

The Daily Prompt asks, If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover. 

Emphatically, with as much oomph as a monosyllabic word can convey in print, no.

My life, written in words. Beginning to end, all the details, there to be read. Tempting? Sure. After all, I do love story. Start with a conflict. It begs that we learn from its consequence, be it powerful for good or just as definitive in the other direction. Since I don’t live a solitary existence, of course I’ve created a rousing conflict or two. Just this week, actually. And characters? My life, like yours, reveals a few corkers. But would it be compelling reading material? How can I judge? I’ve been there, every step of the way. Much of it forgettable, and the highlights are the type that only a mom would love. And likely only my mom at that.

But it’s not the predictable, the mundane, the imminently forgettable in what has already been that would keep me from reading my own story. It’s what still lies ahead. How would the ordering and structure of my days be altered if I knew exactly when and how they ended? What good could possibly come from that?

I remember students in conversation centered in this question: ‘if tomorrow were your last day, how would you spend it?’  Inevitably, they concluded that they sure as hell (paraphrasing slightly) wouldn’t be in school. Obviously. I mean, how important is schooling (you know, learning, social development, critical thinking) when tomorrow is your last day? So, they suggested outstanding adventures — mountain climbing, favorite vacation spot with all their loved ones included, amusement park rides, sky diving. I expect some of them considered that a sexual encounter might be a good ‘last day’ event, though that’s a bit awkward to share in an English classroom, I suppose. 🙂

But none of us know which day will be our last. By design. And today, tomorrow — well, I ought to be doing what I ought to be doing, so that, when I hit the last day, I’m doing what I’ve been here all along to do. Loving others. Sharing life. Bringing Good news to all the people that I encounter. Praising the Maker. Loving the Lion. Serving the King.

I don’t know the time or the means of the last day. Neither did the Mayans, but the world certainly got its panties twisted over the looming ‘end of the world.’ Such a possibility fizzled rather quickly as December 21 became December 22 around the globe. Americans returned to their worries about heading over the ‘fiscal cliff,’ last minute Christmas shopping, or the ponderous worries of daily life on the planet.

Would I read the entirety of my particular story from beginning to end so that I might gain insider knowledge about my yet to be created grandchildren? How my husband and I live out the days to come? To discover if I must face a dread disease? To plan for the days of being alone, or worse still, lonely? To see, in advance, the final exhalation?  No. I wouldn’t read that. Would you?

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5 thoughts on “DP: This is Your Life

  1. Pingback: IT’S ALL ABOUT ME – AGAIN « hastywords

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: This Is Your Life « KnowledgeKnut

  3. I feel the exact same way. I don’t want to know what my life consists of in the future because I want to be able to enjoy living it for the first time. Enjoy the inevitable surprise of the mundane, the exciting and even the sadness.

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