I have heard the following quote used by many people over the course of my life:
“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” ― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Might I just say, I totally disagree with it. Emphatically.
Sure, Ye Ole Billy boy was implying the statement to a soldier in battle, but even then, this is romanticized at best. To say that a brave soul only tastes death once, obviously invoking the physical death meaning, and yet the coward dies a thousand times? Obviously we are not speaking of physical death here, which makes the argument one of apples and oranges, therefore invalidating the statement as a whole.
I believe we all think about our mortality on a normal basis. When we aren’t paying attention and almost rear-end the car in front of us, that awkward pain you feel that sends you into a panic, or that one particular moment where every second of your life flashes in front of your eyes. For some of us, we can move beyond that. For people like me, we get stuck there for a much longer time.
It’s all the same though. For a moment, for a minute, for longer, we think about death. We think about the would have, could have, should haves. We evaluate where we are. Then we carry on.
No, I think Will had it backwards. I think the brave taste death a thousand times. The coward, they face death and it beats them, then they run from it at every chance they get, or worse, they end it.
It takes a brave person to live. It takes a brave person to go on. It takes a brave person to account for who they are, recognize, and then do something about it… in spite of death.
Physical death comes for us all. Once.
There is enough out there trying to stop us from living. Death just does it in a more permanent manner. So, my advice to you (and even more so, to myself) is to shout out:
Live Till You’re Dead!