Three Days to live
All of us have read thrilling stories
in which the hero had only a limited and specified time to live.
Sometimes it was as long as a year; sometimes as short as twenty-four hours
But always we were interested in discovering
just how the doomed man chose to spend his last days or his last hours.
I speak,of course,of free men who have a choice,
not condemned cri- minals whose sphere of activities is strictly delimited.
Such stories set us thinking,
wondering what we should do under similar circumstances.
What events,what experiences,what associations,
should we crowd into those last hours as mortal beings?
What happiness should we find in reviewing the past,what regrets?
Sometimes I have thought it would be an excellent rule
to live each day as if we should die tomorrow.
Such an attitude would emphasize sharply the values of life.
We should live each day with a gentleness,
a vigor and a keenness of appreciation
which are often lost
when time stretches before us
in the constant panorama of more days and months and years to come.
There are those,of course,
who would adopt the epicurean motto of'Eat,drink,and be merry,'
but most people would be chastened by the certainty of impending death.
the doomed hero is usually saved at the last minute by some stroke of fortune,
but almost always his sense of values is changed.
He becomes more appreciative of the meaning of life
and its permanent spiritual values.
It has often been noted that those who live,or have lived,
in the shadow of death bring a mellow sweetness to everything they do.