Me — Envelope of Death

“If you were given an envelope with the time and date of your death inside, would you open it?”

I would. To an extent.

I honestly think that a lot of people would, whether or not they are willing to admit it. It is pretty tempting, and I won’t try to hide that. I’d say quite a large portion of the human race has a morbid curiosity , but I personally wouldn’t want to know just to know.

First, if I had access to the information, I would only want to know my year of death. This alone opens up a wide range of possibilities that would inform me on how to best live my life. If I knew I was going to die this year I would probably try to experience more of life. I’d travel, but I know I’d also write a lot more, knowing I didn’t have as much time to do it. On the other hand, if I knew I wasn’t going to die until eighty years from now, I’d live exactly how I am right now, probably with more peace of mind. I’d know that nothing I do today will really have that much reach, so I wouldn’t try to live any faster.

I wouldn’t want to know anything more specific than the year of death because I wouldn’t want to know how I would die. If I knew I was going to die by electrocution I would live my life in fear of cords, even if I knew I wasn’t going to die for another decade. I certainly wouldn’t want to know the day and time because as that date approached it would eat at me, and I don’t know if I could live with that information. (See what I did there?)

Back to the subject of information, however, I could also use that year as a stamp for things. I would know to have everything settled by the end of the previous year, and my goal would be to find contentment by that time. Being an organized person, I would probably outline a vague schedule for how long I have to travel, write, and relax. I don’t think I would write a bucket list, exactly, but rather I would lay out a list of large things I want to achieve. Sounds like the same thing, I know, but I’m saying rather than riding the largest roller coasters in the world just to be able to say I did, I’d want to read my kids the books I wrote during story time because I want to experience the emotions that come along with it. Experience, placed in most hands, will be more valuable than the story.

So I wouldn’t want the information to sate my curiosity, I would want it because information is valuable, and I could use it to my advantage and live a more satisfying life because of it. Perhaps later in my life my view on this question could change drastically, but hey, that’s part of the point of this blog. What do you think, future me?

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