For those of us that are Buddhists, our most basic goal regarding the end of our lives should be to die well. It is said that the best of practitioners dies full of joy, a middling practitioner dies with a sense of contentment, and the least of practitioners dies without regret. So many of us our afraid to die yet what we should really fear is wasting what life we do have. The point isn’t how long we lived but how well we lived.
What determines a life well-lived is a personal decision that we all have to make for ourselves. But let’s not waste our time. Let’s figure out what determines a life well-lived for ourselves and fill our days with what we deem most important and then live each day as though it were our last. If we live to see another day, and we let it overflow with what makes life meaningful for us, then as these days add up—whether it is one more day or a thousand—our lives will become a testament to what we held most dear.
None of us wants to lose our lives. However, each day wasted on meaningless distractions and indulging in our destructive emotions is a day of our lives lost to perpetuating the endless cycle of dissatisfaction and further suffering. Instead, perhaps even for a moment each day, we can learn to value our fellow human beings and strive to make their lives more meaningful, make them feel more loved, more accepted, more valuable; then—and in my opinion—only then, does our life begin to be truly meaningful.