A Letter to The Millennials

Dear Fellow Millennials,

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived; it is what difference we have made in the lives of others, that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Nelson Mandela

I have lived long enough to know that my days here on earth are numbered, and so are yours. I have had friends, relations, and loved ones, who I thought I had many years to enjoy with, die. I vividly remember a lady-friend of mine, who was my junior back in high school, the most genuine and brilliant person I ever met, who I respected and cared about, died after a brief uncomplicated illness, this was someone way younger than I, and full of dreams and ambitions like any other teenager, but she died. I know most of you reading this have experienced the loss of a loved one at one point in your life, but my question is what did it teach you? What did you learn from it?

These aforementioned experiences, which are just a few among many others, changed and shaped my perspective about life, myself and the world in its entirety. So, while many will question why I seem to be serious about life, for which I am not, or why I act the way I do, those experiences gave me wisdom. In retrospect, instead of breaking me, those experiences opened my mind to see things differently. I continue to learn and grow every day, not only from my own experiences but from that of others as well. So, I don’t have to be dead to realize that my days are numbered.

Most of we millennials are of the notion that we chop life today (enjoy life to the max) and get responsible and serious tomorrow, question? who told you that you are going to see tomorrow? Or do you know when specifically, you will leave this earth for good? Yes, I mean the time, age, or period, when you will die? We all hope for longevity and speculate, but we are not certain about the exactness of it for ourselves nor others. The truth of the matter is, most of our lifestyles cut our lives short on this earth. The purpose of this piece is not to propagate death or scare you, but to restate or reiterate the obvious and have you all sleeping, awake to the actual reality that most people, especially millennials choose to ignore.

The fact is I could be dead on or before tomorrow and so could you. We are uncertain about tomorrow as far as longevity is concerned, but what we all are certain of is today. We are alive today and have the capacity and ability to express ourselves and contribute to humanity, while we enjoy the life we lead. So, stop living arrogantly as if you are immortal or you own tomorrow. Take care of the vessel (your body and all its components), that allows you to function on this side of existence, make meaningful choices as you explore life, consider the short term and long-term consequences of your actions, or inactions, and decisions. Don’t allow yourself to be the type of parent in the future that has done it all, it might be harder grooming your children, especially when they know your past. Today is your present, and after, today becomes your past, so make it count.

My philosophy about life, in general, has been for a while now, about self-actualization/ self-realization, holistic-living, and essentialism. These encapsulate and affect life in its entirety. I explore these principles, not because I’m damn serious about life, but because I have come to understand that they are prerequisites or necessities to my becoming, your becoming, our becoming. Through those principles, you get to be yourself, express yourself, get in touch with your potentials and enjoy your life with little or no regrets and without harming yourself or others. You get to leave a footprint for others to follow and make a mark in the sands of time, that will remain after you are long gone.

So, save yourself the burden of future regrets and start being intentional about your life. It is no cliché, we’ve all got one life to live. So, live it right or you have the rest of either your grumpy old age or eternity to regret. As far as I know, and so far as history has it, living meaningfully, oftentimes than not, gives you every good thing in life that you desire and deserve. You can still live right and have it all, but you can’t eat your cake and have it.  Set principles and standards fitting to you, because if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for right about anything.  

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