What Would You Do If You Knew?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Discuss

After Tony Snow’s death today, Pete Abel penned the following…

I’m 43. When Tony was my age, if he’d known he had 10 years left, would he have done anything differently? If I could look in to the future and know the date of my death, would I do anything differently? Would I work less, spend more time with my family? Would I stop getting up at 5 a.m. during the week to sneak in my 30-minute workout just so I can stop gaining weight at an exponential pace?

Would any of us change?

Given Tim Russert’s untimely passing, I think these questions are particularly apropos.

It reminds me of the saying, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

In the end, I think we do what we can with the skills and thoughts and emotions we have at the time. And because I consider life as a continuous series of changes, most of which are imperceptible, perhaps the point isn’t to think of all of the things we would do, but instead enjoy the things we are doing.


This entry was posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 and is filed under Discuss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “What Would You Do If You Knew?”

  1. mw Says:

    “One who is supposed to be a warrior considers it his foremost concern to keep death in mind at all times, every day and every night from the morning New Year’s Day through the night of New Year’s Eve. As long as you keep death in mind at all times, you will also fulfill the ways of loyalty and familial duty. You will also avoid myriad evils and calamities, you will be physically sound and healthy, and you will live a a long life. What is more, your character will improve and your virtue will grow.”

    “Bushido Shoshinshu” – The Code of the Samurai”:

  2. Tully Says:

    Frankly, about all I’d do is buy more life insurance for my survivors. I already pretty much live life the way I want to, if not as richly as I would like.

  3. probligo Says:

    Tully, forget the insurance. You might save enough to get a good wake for yourself, but you’d be better off sticking it under the bed.

    I had that warning – from a very much appreciated doctor who gave me the choice between another 25 years and more at half the income against 5 years and riches.

    What gets to be important then?

    Recreation pursuits
    Good food and wine

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