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From: B. Harris)
Newsgroups: misc.consumers.frugal-living,misc.consumers,
Subject: Grumpy Observations About Self-Help Homily Sigs (was: Mandatory PE? )
Date: 21 Mar 1999 14:11:28 GMT

In <> linda-renee
<lindarenee*stillkelly'smom*> writes:

>Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you'll be

   Arggghhh.  I can't help it.  I've seen this .sig and wondered why we
seem to respond to cute sayings like this.  Is it some kind of brain
damage?  The inner child yearning to be free?

   You can live every day this month as though it was your last, but
since each of them isn't, your boss will probably not accept this
explanation for why you have't been in to work much; or if you have be
in, why you aren't doing the tedious or boring parts of your job (which
surely everyone has).  Not to mention why you're not shaving, and why
you're wearing sneakers and levis and no tie, and seem to have had more
than one double martini with your lunch.  That's okay if you're a
programmer for Microsoft, but otherwise, when this happens often
enough, your wife will surely want a better explanation for why you got
fired, than that you simply decided you weren't going to do anything
you didn't want to do that day.   Or the previous one.  Or the one
before that, if truth were told.

   And after she leaves you and takes the kids with her, the damned
hospice doc is certainly NOT going to write you a prescription for
morphine, whether you want to live like the last day of your life or
not.  So there's a conspiracy of sorts, here.  Life is a struggle, but
the last day of your life either will be no struggle, or even if it's a
struggle also, almost certainly will not be the same KIND of stuggle.
So either way, you're not going to be living that way until you have
to, or until you GET to.   And either way, it's very bad advice to
start early.

   I may be unduly cynical tonight <sigh>.  But for some reason I feel
impelled to remind, just this once, that a certain fraction of a
responsible adult life consists of doing things you really would rather
not be doing.  Or of things, rather than which, you at least would
prefer to be doing something else instead.  If only you could do so
without nasty consequences in the near, intermediate, or long future.
And as sure as hell, of a good many things you would NOT be doing if
you knew it was the last day of your life, where you have no future in
that sense.

   But just try omitting those tedious things from those other days in
your life, and see what happens.  Shall I guess?  If you are religious,
you might not sin, having rather less time to repent.  Or you might sin
a little more, and at last try something you always wanted to.  I don't
know.  Are there any sins which particularly tempt those who know they
have little time to live, and the priest or preacher is practically
around the corner?   A second helping of strawberry pie and fried
chicken, ala death row, before the electric chair?  ("I can eat all I
want, and burn it off later...").  There is at least one famous story
of a condemned orthodox Jewish muderer who requested a ham sandwich at
his last meal. ("Not bad.")

   I suspect that unless you were born extremely talented or extremely
rich, what would happen at minimum if you avoided those tedious things,
and gave into those venial impulses, is that very shortly you'd lose
most of the things that make life worthwhile.  One by one, they'd
leave, sensing the loss of bank balance.   Or character: for even if
*were* extremely talented and/or rich, in no time at all you'd at least
lose most discipline-- much like Elvis at 40-- and any friends you
found you still had would be new ones: the sort of people who hang
around the extremely talented and rich who have no discipline.

   To be sure, one sees people living what they know is the last day of
their lives, with discipline intact.  But that seems to be mainly
through force of habit.  If they'd lived every day of their previous
life like that, their ends would be very sad and ugly indeed.  Or, at
least, sadder and ugglier than usual.

                          --  The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

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