Reflections on Life: A Life Worth Living
It’s probably all about hormones, but love seems to come along the first time at about age 12. Some call it “puppy” love, while others call it “infatuation.” With me it was pure magic. It was a fanciful flight that I was able to take almost at will. My trip was different in every way from everything I had experienced in my life up till then. And she was at the center of it all.
She had the most perfect face I had ever laid eyes on. Her eyes concealed mysteries that were just beyond my ability to penetrate and to explore. So I studied the moisture on her lips and imagined swimming upstream in it to places and to experiences that expanded my imagination many fold. Her curvy legs were the most beautiful pair from among all I had studied—from her toes to wherever they ended. I memorized her walk, her talk, her smile, her snarl, her laughter. She was clever, witty, charming—she was nearly perfect in every way. What a package! What a bundle of shimmering, delightful music in motion. And I won’t even mention anything about her ability to cause an instantaneous arousal throughout my body. It’s too painful to recall. Even then I pictured the two us locked in a mutual embrace and floating in an endless journey to paradise and beyond.
Of course, first loves rarely last. But the memories are nice, even though unrealistic. Still, they set a high standard that gives us pause the next time and the next. Eventually we settle for a smile and a question: “Is this seat taken?”
Life is about choices. Some of them turn out to be good while others end in disaster. Long ago I decided that it did not matter how well they turned out. It mattered only that I had the courage to make them. In other words, life is meant to be lived. I think it comes down to this: If we shrink from decisions, we miss out on many of the good choices. And sooner or later we will make a spectacular choice. If we make a bad choice and fall flat on our face, we “pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and start all over again.” And we learn something from the fall. In the end, it matters not whether we won or lost, or whether we acquired the most toys, or the most honors or awards, or even the admiration of others. It matters only in how honestly we played the game—in how well we treated each other, in how willing we were to share our good fortune, and if we lifted the spirits of those who are still struggling. Others wiser than me call that a “life worth living.”