[Viewpoint]Death has its own deadline

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[Viewpoint]Death has its own deadline

The first half of 2007 ended on Saturday. Time has flown so fast it seems like it was only a couple of days ago that we celebrated the beginning of a new year. If time flies as fast over the next six months we will be wrapping Christmas presents again in a New York minute. Then we will get another year older and renew our pledges to do better in the coming year.
But, in a repeat of these routines that go round and round, we will soon find ourselves standing in the middle of another year. Then a sense of shame and regret for having not done enough with our lives will overwhelm us like a tsunami.
And after repeating this routine year after year, we will some day encounter the end of our lives.
Without exception we all have a terminus, the closing point of our time here on earth.
Some people have to meet deadlines every day or once a week. And there are people who have to meet them once every three months, or once a year.
But all of us, without exception, will have to prepare for the end of life itself.
We can find out what deadlines we have to meet every day, every month, every three months or every year, but we do not know when the last second of our life will be.
The heartbreaking news of the crash of an airplane in Cambodia several days ago has reminded us of the fact that no one can foresee their fate in advance.
There are very few people who would board a plane with the prior knowledge that it was his or her last journey in this world.
However, despite the unpredictability, we are all moving toward the deadline of our lives.
There is no place where deadlines are more faithfully observed than newspapers.
However excellent an essay or news article may be, it is of no use if it misses its deadline.
However, there is no newspaper that is dotted with white, empty spaces due to a lack of news articles. This is because so many news items and articles arrive in the newsroom of a paper that it can usually meet its deadlines by some means.
Articles that looked impossible only 10 minutes previously slide into the newsroom, like a baseball player who desperately slides across home plate to win the game at the last second. This is the power of the deadline.
So what is the source of the deadline’s power? I wonder whether this is, more than anything else, what makes people run till the finish line, invigorating all their available energy to meet a specific goal.
Of course, human beings can go into a state of inertia, if they get too strained. But an appropriate level of stress makes people lively and facilitates the flow of work. Is it because of this? There is a saying that articles written in a hurry to meet a deadline are better than those written at leisure. If that is true, it may be because people write with all their might, even sometimes discovering their hidden potential, when they are under pressure.
Life itself is like a train that runs toward the end of its fate.
Although it stops at stations here and there, it runs toward the terminus of life, the place where we all have to go some day. But nobody knows when the closing hour of his life will be. Therefore, we must work even harder with a heroic resolve that today could be the last day of our life. Such a determination can awaken the greatness in oneself.
At times, our life itself is like a timebomb set to a deadline ― a bomb that explodes at the preset hour. Sometimes, the deadline unexpectedly comes too early.
A plane can soar smoothly into the air, only to disintegrate into muddy fragments after a few hours. Therefore, the only way to lead one’s life is to assume that each minute could be one’s last, thus leaving no regrets behind.
The deadline means the end, but people get stronger when they face a deadline. It is because they develop a heroic resolve when they face the end.
In this dreary rainy season, we should not be idle, but be on alert, thinking that this very moment could be the closing hour of life.
It will awaken the greatness in us and present us with a new life, different from the one we lived yesterday.
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