What would you do if you were to discover that today was the last day you were going to be alive? What would you prioritize? Would you go ahead and do something spontaneous like spending all of your money on your dream vacation or go sky diving? The answers to these questions vary significantly according to each individuals’ interests. However, what we may choose to do on our very last day alive is more than likely something we have been postponing for a date in the future. Think about it like this, if you had the financial capacity and time to follow through with any of your vacation plans would you still wait for the appropriate time? Most people would pounce at the opportunity because they want to create memorable moments to remember for the rest of their lives. The essay informs about the positive and negative aspects of living life following the carpe diem theory but, this theory does not apply to all life situations.
Since the future is unknown for any given person, this philosophy helps a person make the most out of the present instead thinking of plans too far into the future. This style of living seems to be very easy to explain as William Emmons mentions in his blog, “It’s a way of living that declares, ‘I am grabbing this thing by the neck and holding it up for all to see, and I am going to come out of this way better than when I went in.’” (Emmons) What I get from this quote is that the people that follow the carpe diem theory believe that they should ‘seize the day’ as tomorrow may never come. It is very head on about teaching you how to solve the problem when you encounter it, do not hesitate to crush it the moment you see it.
Quite a lot of events in history can be described by carpe diem. People back in the day did not live as long, resulting in their lifespans playing out a lot faster than what we think of life now. Carpe diem is an ancient phrase as it can be traced all the way back to a lyric poet named Quintus Horatius Flaccus, more commonly known as Horace, who lived from 65 BC to 8 BC. “The term is first found in Odes Book 1… which translates as: ‘While we’re talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future.’” (Martin) This tells me that people way back when would think about living in the now and not really plan much for the future. And who knows maybe this is why now people live longer, because we think and plan for the future, we do not only think about living in the present we understand now that what we do has consequences and it effects our future so we learned to control it better.
Although I believe there are a lot more positives to negatives, there is still a negative side that needs to be discussed. As Humberto Bandera said in one of his blogs, “The only way we can have a decent future is if we plan on it, and we put all of our energy on it.” (Bandera) Sure there are many other styles of living one’s life, and Bandera makes this statement because he believes that planning out the future is more important than overthinking about the present. I believe that this is how many people feel in today’s present as people see life differently now that we can live longer and have more things to enjoy in life than before. People takes things into perspective differently and it may be for the better or worse but the fact of the matter is that people view life differently now because of technology, it keeps everyone closer even though you may be thousands of miles apart.
After learning more about carpe diem, I understand the positives and negatives surrounding it better, but I am leaning more towards the positive. I know myself and when there is something to be done, I know that the only thought going through my head is the quicker I get it done, the faster I can work on something else I care about. On that note, I could not think of a better way to end this essay than to quote one of my favorite Broadway musicals, Newsies, “Now is the time to seize the day, stare down the odds and seize the day, minute by minute that’s how you win it, we will find a way.” (Menken)