Have you ever thought of the difference between living and being alive? Have you ever asked yourself am I living or am I alive? If you haven’t, then I encourage you to do so now. Take a pause from reading to just be still and think about it. Hopefully, your answer comes easily and satisfies you. But if it doesn’t, then you did the right thing asking it. You now have the opportunity to change that.
What is life?
The other day I heard something interesting that made me wonder for a while. It was said that humans are just a combination of cells that are able to eat, reproduce and respond to their environment, which makes them alive based on our description of what it means to be alive. In other words, they are alive in a similar way to us. However, none of the parts that make up a cell are alive. All of these parts are dead matter that are governed by the laws of the universe. Essentially, it is dead matter that is moved by various chemical reactions.
To take it even further, the talk went on about how artificial intelligence is coming very close to fitting our description of what it means to be alive. And the closer it comes, the more blurry becomes the image of human identity. Consequently, it is only a matter of time before robots in the society will be considered just as alive as humans are. Obviously, these things are debatable, but they should be addressed already today.
Am I Living or Am I Alive?
As I thought about the things mentioned above, I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter that our bodies are made up of dead matter. Even though we are dead, in one way, we are “extremely alive” in another way. We are able to not only eat, sleep and reproduce, but to also love, show compassion, create beautiful art, be happy and make others happy as well, just to name a few. That’s what makes us human, and that’s what in the end shows that we are, in fact, living.
“I think, therefore I am” – René Descartes
I am convinced that robots, with time, will be very similar to humans, but I don’t think they will ever be able to experience the things that we can. At least not in the way we do.
Inevitably, this leads us to the question of this post, “am I living or am I alive?” Am I taking everything that this life has to offer, or can my existence be compared to the life of a robot? Honestly, there are moments when I get so sucked into everyday problems, that I have difficulties giving a definite answer to myself.
I am sure there are going to be people that are able to classify themselves as being only alive – not living. Life has become a chore for them, in which they feel themselves like a squirrel turning in a wheel. They are always busy, they always have something to do and are always in rush somewhere, but the colors of life are beginning to fade. In a sense, this is the picture I get of the modern world, where consumerism has become the meaning of life. The majority of us sit in offices, living from paycheck to paycheck, paying away our debts and waiting for retirement to finally arrive. And when it does, only then we can finally have the rest that we have needed for so long.
Go on, ask yourself “am I living or am I alive?” Are you completely satisfied with the answer? If yes, then I am truly happy for you, but if you are not, then it’s extremely good that you have asked yourself this. Because only after realizing your current situation and accepting it, you can alter it.
Making the changes
Ideally, we don’t want to be alive the same way a cell or artificial intelligence is. We want to be living. We want to pursue our dreams and live a fulfilling life. We want to be able to wake up every day with a smile on our faces and to help others feel the same. We want to become the source of light. So what can be done about this?
Think about your career. Are you on the right path? Are you enjoying what you do? What about your partner in life? Do you want one but you are scared to get into a new relationship? Maybe you have always wanted to do some volunteer work. Maybe you wanted to travel somewhere exotic for the past five years, but have always found excuses not to do it… It doesn’t matter what you come up with because everyone has their own vision of what they need to be living instead of just being alive. The idea is that you identify these things and take action on them.
Recommended for reading: 6 Reasons Why We Should Be Thinking About Death…
Try to remove your fears for at least a bit, and think about the things you need to do to create the desired changes in life. Maybe you want to take dancing or language classes, or maybe you need to save up a little for the perfect vacation. Don’t allow your fears to stop you. Go and apply for those language/dancing classes. If you need to, cut down on eating out to save up for that holiday. Again, these are just examples, but you get the idea.
Our whole life we may have fears that control us and prevent us from becoming happy. Sometimes, we are not even aware of these fears because we never question ourselves: “am I living or am I alive?”. Closing ourselves off from our fears is very common and is a behavior very known is psychology. But now that you have become aware of these fears, you have the opportunity to change. The worst thing you can do is to pretend there is nothing you want to change when you know that there is.
Thank you for stopping by and good luck!
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