Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Carpe Diem

Seize the day, live as if this is your last day alive! Carpe Diem!

This was something I used to think, it was something I have uttered inanely whilst drunk! It is the attitude of the Universities, the press, our whole culture! Carpe Diem!

It was only a few days ago when I pondered the meaning of this, 'live for the day', what can it mean? For those who have faith it can mean something quite different from the unbeliever, for this world, it means have sex when you want, with whom you want, whenever you want. It means eat, eat and eat until you turn into a 20 stone blob of living lard! It means swear and curse those who get in your way or who irritate you, it means never forgive, never forget, it means lie if it gets you what you want, it means deceive, cheat and betray if this suits you!

If people really 'lived for the day', what would it look like?

Like some of our city centres on a Saturday night! If one truly lived for the day and you had no faith it would mean one would rape a woman that took one's fancy, it would mean steal instead of work, it would mean murder those whom you hate, it would mean betray those one loved, it would mean chaos, it would look like hell!

The truth is most people don't really believe Carpe Diem, decent people work! Why work? Not for amusement, people work so they can pay their bills, buy a house, support their family and enjoy their lives. Most people remain faithful to their spouse most of the time, why? Love.

Criminals are the people who most closely follow this 'live for the day' lark, and with out God, more do so all the time.

A better phrase would be 'live for tomorrow', for this is what we should be aiming for, we should be bettering ourselves, investing in our families, friends and neighbours. We know from scripture that God hates theft, almost as much as he hates murder, we also know he loves righteousness, but what is righteousness? It is not an absence of theft and murder, it is something positive, it is a litany of good actions that build up to make us who we are, humility in little actions every day, decency toward others, generosity, kindness, faith.

It seems to me that we become who we are; this happens over time, good people are those who do lots of little seemingly irrelevant good things over time, bad people are those who do lots of bad things over time. Selfishness seems to be the root of this and Carpe Diem if taken seriously implies selfishness on a grand scale.

There are of course times when we are presented with an opportunity, which would be foolish to turn down, but this is not the same as self absorbed attitude that we should 'live for the day', this is just part of the wider attitude in the degraded society of ours, that we owe no allegiance to anyone or anything, that we should endulge every desire and damn the consequences.

Sin has consequences, so too does righteousness, we deserve most of the good or bad things that come our way, they are as a result of earlier deeds, its karma!

So forget about Carpe Diem, think Carpe Crastinum!

2 comments:

Allen said...

Actually, live for THE Day - Judgement Day, when every man must give an account for his actions.

Anonymous said...

"Seize the day" might just as easily be interpreted to mean "make good use of all of your time; don't waste any of it". This is not to say you are wrong, though, since most people use the expression in the sense you described.