Everybody talks about living a life worth living. And while I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, it lacks a certain depth.
What is a life worth living? What fuels it? A life worth living could be cuddling with your loved one every night of the week, nurturing your child, working at a homeless shelter, raising money for charity, or spreading smiles within your community. Whatever fulfills a person gives their life meaning and makes it a life worth living.
But what is a life worth DYING for?
The concept of finding something to be passionate about is something that I believe gets lost in the shuffle of daily life. A large majority of the world's population live their lives in a cubicle or simply going through the motions that make one day turn into the next. Where is the profundity in that?
Martin Luther King, Jr. lived a life worth dying for. He found something he believed in, made it his life's mission, and quite literally, died for it.
Mortality is not something that we often think about. Our brains are programmed to avoid this concept. We don't want to die. We are afraid of it.
We are afraid of dying because most people have never done anything actually worth dying for.
I don't mean to harp on about the weighted questions about the purpose of life, but they're relevant. This new way of framing things, when adding the prospect of death into the equation, introduces severity. We have a timeframe. There is a scale by which to rate the quality of one's life, and very limited time to make it worthwhile.
What are we doing in life that is worth dying for?
My daily job is not worth dying for. I love what I do, working as a blogger and cocktail bartender in countries around the world. I inspire people (hopefully) to live out their dreams of travel and improve their lives by seeing and experiencing the world. I spread messages about responsible tourism; I believe in them strongly, and they are communications that I wish to continue. But would I die for them?
Nope. I wouldn't.
So what is worth dying for, then? What gives our lives so much depth and meaning that actually dying in the process would have still made our time here worthwhile?
I travel. I find excitement in new places, meeting new people, discovering new foods and exploring new cultures and ways of life. Without these things, my life is plain. This is what I am passionate about and it's what gives my life purpose and depth. I yearn for global understanding. I spread positive energy, create meaningful connections with strangers, and do small acts of kindness every single day to make the world (and not only the world around me, but the whole world) a better place. And in doing so, I make MY world and MY life a better place to be.
But would I die for that?
I have never found anything that could introduce so many layers into my life. Travel, as a whole, has shaped me into a passionate, excitable, positive person. I have found something that brings complexity and sapience to my life, and in a way that makes it more than a life worth living. It is a life worth dying for.
Should my heart stop on the streets of Hong Kong, dancing salsa in Puerto Rico or hiking in the tropics of Africa, I would have died knowing that everything in my life, up until that point, was all worth it.
So my question to you, dear friend, is this: What are you doing that's worth dying for?