The differences between being alive and living are drastic. Depending upon how you analyze the word, being alive is merely existing. For instance, you are alive if your lungs expand, if your heart thumps rhythmically. You are alive if you simply function.
Truly living, on the other hand, consists of building upon experiences and memories. The more you experience and the more you make the most of the life you are given, the better you are living. There is a reason why the U.S Census Bureau calls a country’s standard of living its “standard of living” rather than its “standard of being alive.” It’s because living means satisfaction. It means happiness.
“I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
-Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
The character John from Brave New World outlines what it means to truly live by taking risks. He explains that he yearns for experiences in his life, even ones that he would not initially be comfortable with. The idea that the key to living is taking risks is seen through the character John and is a prime lesson to readers.
I believe wholeheartedly that taking risks is the key to truly living. Constant security will only leave you alive, and it will not make you happy.
This is why, this summer and next year, I am stepping out of my comfort zone more than ever and embracing the risks life has to offer. This summer I am traveling alone to England to study literature, and will also be traveling to Turkey and Malta the following month. Next year I will also be visiting Israel and exploring the Holy Land.
Although I am terrified beyond belief to step that far from my comfort zone, I hope these experiences will positively affect the way I live, and, in turn, will make me happy to be alive.
I hope to write about my adventures in these places around the world and will most likely start a series on this blog about my travels, so keep a look out for those!
Do you have any thoughts on the importance of taking risks, or the meaning of truly living? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you.