Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.
-John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society
Carpe Diem. An aphorism used everywhere these days. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never really been inspired by it before now. But having just watched Dead Poet’s Society for the first time, I can now truly feel what the words were saying. Yes, the irony that its use in a film script has been more inspirational than hearing the original poem is not lost on me, but the result is the same, so it’s all good, right?
Another poem quoted in the film was also very telling:
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he’s a-getting;
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer heòs to setting.
That age is best, which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
– Robert Herrick
Live life to the fullest and remember that it is fleeting. I suppose we all forget to do this. In fact, I do wonder if it would at all be possible to have it constantly at the forefront of our minds. Wouldn’t it tire us out to be constantly trying to live everyday as best we can? Surely downtime is important too?
Perhaps the answer is to consider things in the longer term. We may not be able to exert ourselves completely and utterly every single day, but I’m sure we can put our efforts towards a goal we are passionate about. Perhaps that it what is meant by Carpe Diem – seizing the day that is our fruitful yet tremendously short lifespan.