Would we start leading more enriching lives if we knew our expiry dates? I think so. We’d start valuing our time more. That, in turn, would lead us to relish every moment and making it meaningful. We’d stop wasting the limited time we have on petty issues, arguments, and useless talks. We all would also take more chances, and our choices would be driven by happiness, rather than conventions or social norms. We’d value money less and experiences more. We’d start having deep, meaningful and memorable conversations with our friends, family, and just anyone we come in touch with. We’d be more genuine in our talks, actions, and most of all, to ourselves. We’d stop recording at concerts, but rather cherish the experience there and then. We’d love humanity more. We’d let our kids be, and stop consciously and unconsciously training them to be ready for the rat race. Open schools would thrive, and home-schooling would be a norm rather than an exception. We’d start treating ‘religion’ more pragmatically and realize that it’s more of a guiding light rather than something to thump our chest about or pester others with.
The word ‘regret’ would start to diminish from our vocabularies, and more so, from the consequence of our actions (or the lack of it). Our bucket lists would be tiny and, in many cases, non-existent.
Death, then, wouldn’t be a taboo topic — it would be less seen as a disruption and more as an eternal state of calmness.
The funny thing is, all of us do know this, but most of us pretend as if we have unlimited time here. We let ourselves go astray with what doesn’t matter in the larger spectrum of things. We chase money, more than we need. We hoard materials. We become stingy and don’t share the surplus, even if we very well can. We twist religion and use it to our benefit — to ensure a great (so-called) afterlife and to maintain our illusionary superiority.
As Alan Watts said, maybe a shift in our mindset can be triggered once we stop considering life as a journey, and think of it as music, or dance:
So yes, being aware of our expiry dates can motivate us to lead better lives. But, then it makes me wonder, are we really dependent on the knowledge of that date to do that? Maybe not.