Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

Default Dead or Alive

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
386 words
2 minute read

Am I living default dead or default alive?

The methodology behind figuring this out is quite simple: if I take any one moment in my everyday life as a data point, would I consider myself dead or alive at that point? Now do that for a second data point. And a third. Now a fourth. At any given moment, what are the odds that I am dead or alive?

I do not mean this in the biological sense. There are scientific means of knowing whether a human being is physically dead. What I am referring to is my purpose in life and how I view myself:

  • Am I being the individual I aspire to be?
  • Am I doing the things that I want to do?
  • Am I making an impact on the world?
  • Am I making the most of every fleeting second I have been given?

These questions may vary from person to person, but I believe that most would share a common theme. Humanity exists as much more than mere flesh and bone, and this manifests itself in desires that elude the grasp of physicality. Finding purpose and achieving fulfillment are not quantifiable metrics, which makes it all the more difficult to know whether they have been achieved.

Asking myself these questions is not an easy exercise. Quite honestly, sometimes I am terrified of asking them only to realize that I am default dead. Sometimes the fear is so crippling that I just ignore the questions. I pretend to not know the answer to avoid coming to terms with my own life being default dead.

The speed at which the first month of 2017 has drawn to a close gives me new perspective on this. Life moves at a breakneck pace, and it certainly shows no signs of slowing down. Now more than ever I see the importance of living default alive. I have to take a step back and look at these past thirty-odd days through a critical lens and ask myself how many of those days I spent more alive than dead. The answer to that question will impact the way I live tomorrow, next week, next month, and until there are no more days left to live.

Life is too short to be default dead. Choose to live life default alive.