Paper and Ink: Live like you mean it
By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
Sometimes we go through life like sleepwalkers, haphazardly making decisions with nothing more than a stumble in one direction or another. The days blend into another day and colors fade to grey.
That's all okay and life remains comfortable, until you have gone through another year without having done anything, without having really lived life. You merely watched it happen and you ask yourself what there is to live for.
You begin to age and wish you could go back and do things differently.
There comes a time when you have to make a decision that could alter your whole life. That is where you decide to live or not.
What point is there to living if you don't do it wholeheartedly?
LOVE: There is something that comes alive for you when you love someone and something. Love what you do and who you do it with, and it will be different.
TAKE CHANCES: We are afraid to live, make mistakes, and have regrets. But you will never come alive if you live too cautiously and too timidly. Take a risk, go for the big deal. What do you have to lose?
GET EXCITED: Find something that truly makes you come alive. You won't grow old easily.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE: Don't just sit around. Get out there and do something crazy.
TRAVEL: Take time off and travel somewhere. There is so much to see.
REDISCOVER YOURSELF: Make a list of what's important to you and do it. Keep it brief, focusing on what matters.
BE SELFISH: Ignore everything else and do only the things that make you come alive.
MOURN: Life isn't always going to go your way. When you lose your job, lover, friend or hope, cry and let yourself feel the pain. After suffering, you will heal.
SLOW DOWN: Life moves along at such a fast pace these days. It's not healthy, and it's not conducive to living. Practice doing everything slowly — everything, from eating to walking to driving to working to reading. Enjoy what you do. Learn to move at a snail's pace and savor those moments.
TALK: There is so much therapeutic relief from talking to others. Talk to a child, an old man, someone new. You will see from another point of view.
As Jack London said, the proper function of man is to live – not to exist.