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Carpe Diem - NOT
by Katerina Charisi
2017-08-08 09:16:17
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A few days ago, an internet friend from US posted a comment about the sudden death of a neighbor. The man had gone to his work as usual but looked bad. When his colleagues asked him what’s wrong he said “well, this is one of those days you think it would be better to stay home. My car’s broken, my wife’s too, the roof has a leak and I really don’t know how I’m supposed to get through this. I actually don’t feel very well.” Just a little while later and the man falls down and dies of a heart attack.

neiboor01_400Unfortunately this is an everyday’s reality all over the world and Greece is not the only country that suffers from austerity. Financial struggles are an open wound that keeps bleeding for many people around the western - supposedly well off - world. The stress caused by everyday’s problems is killing us slowly or eventually once and for all. I think there’s no place for drama and tearful statements here; we all know what means not to know what’s going to happen to you tomorrow, wondering if all you have done and fought for and achieved in your life are going wasted… Each day.

But what really made me to sit down and write my thoughts today about this tragic incident, is how people responded to my friend’s FB status about it, trying to express their sympathy and condolences. You know, sometimes the weirdest and most thoughtful conversations happen online. So everyone shared their thoughts, adding “just live for the day, man”.

And that was what hit me.

A young man dies of a heart attack because of his terrible stress to cope with two broken cars and a bad roof, probably among other everyday’s problems that at least we’ll never know.

But… from this unfairly lost life, is a carpe diem all you have?

None of our fellow men wherever they come from, wherever they live, should die of stress to cope with everyday’s problems. And don’t tell me about all unfair deaths around the world every day, like wars, car accidents etc. Today I want to express my thoughts about something specific: Dying out of everyday’s anxiety.

No one should die like this.

No one should die for a broken car, for a debt, for a leaking roof, for unpaid bills. No heart should stop beating and no people should jump out of their windows.

And all these small and unimportant deaths, unimportant because there is no some cinematic heroism in a battlefield or something, unimportant because they just happen and got forgotten by the world itself right when the next “interesting” thing comes over it, these deaths, leave people behind; children and sons and daughters and parents and spouses that somehow must move on. Small deaths of big people trying to cope with sometimes huge problems out of betrayer hearts and blocked minds because of this invisible and shady enemy named “stress”. So there’s no “live for the day”. There’s no “carpe diem”. There’s no YOLO just because you might suddenly die.

I don’t even think Horace had YOLO in mind.

Obviously neither Robin Williams.

Reading about this tragic incident that happened in the other side of the world, reading all the comments of sympathy and condolences of ordinary wonderful people, while trying to find something useful myself to say to my friend,

…Knowing what it means  to work as hard as possible and still struggle to survive, knowing what it feels like to find yourself without a home all of a sudden and wondering what’s going to happen to you and your children, knowing how it feels a swollen stomach ready to explode out of stress because sometimes everything gets too much for thousands of reasons all piling up one on top of the other untill you don’t know what to do with them…

…Carpe Diem is an insult that deeply hurt me.

Living each day like there’s no tomorrow is not the point. It’s not even the right thing to do, because you simply can’t live like there’s no tomorrow, people interact with each other and a tomorrow always comes and affects your people around you, either you are around or not.

I think carpe diem is probably totally misunderstood after all.

But at least what you can actually do is try not to care; not too much for that matter.

Do what you can do and don’t make anything more important than it really is. You have to not let a broken car or a debt or a lost job or a leaking roof or unpaid bills to become the poison that kills you slowly day by day.

Just don’t let it kill you.

If in death we must respond with a “Carpe Diem”, then maybe, sometimes carpe diem means just not to let anything take your life from you and the people you love most.

When everything around you seem pointless and you work more and get paid even less, when everything keeps going bad,

Maybe carpe diem means to against all odds start a family.

Raise children and teaching them how to love every human being.

Love your consort and stay with them when things get bad and even worse.

Find happiness and beauty in all sorts of simple things, like a sunset, a walk to the park, a movie with your kids, a couple of beers with friends, in all plain, flat and no-romantic at all things.

You know? Sometimes YOLO means getting alive out of your own life’s ruins. And that’s more than enough.

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