Most people will tell you the phrase “carpe diem” is Latin for “seize the day.” When you dig a little deeper, there’s more to it that sheds some light on how we should live!
Carpe Diem [kahr-pey dee-uh m]
- Carpe – from a Latin verb meaning “I pick, pluck, cull, gather, to eat food.”
- Also came to mean – “enjoy, use, make use of.”
- Diem – translated “day.”
- Came to mean the opposite of placing all your hope in the future.
In Other Words
“Grab today’s fruit while it is ripe.”
[Carpe Diem revised translation]
“And if not now, then when?”
[From the Hebrew]
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
[Poetry to encourage youth]
“Now is the time to drink, now the time
to dance footloose upon the earth.”
[From the Ode of Horace]
In the words of Neil in the movie Dead Poets Society quoting Henry David Thoreau:
I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life
…to put to rout all that was not life;
and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived.
So how do we “grab today’s fruit while it is ripe?”
- Say what you need to say – to the people you need to say it to.
- Forgive the people you need to forgive.
- Make the call to the friend you’re waiting to hear from.
- Enjoy the simple pleasures of life – food, warmth, family, breath, life.
- Buy and deliver the gift you’ve been meaning to give.
- Dance with those you love (if you’re blessed with two good legs).
- Pray for the people who need God’s help and comfort today.
Life is a succession of moments.
To live each one is to succeed (Coreta Kent).
And if not now, then when?
Every man dies. Not every man really lives (Braveheart).
It dawned on me about five months into my recovery that I needed a major attitude adjustment . If I was going to really live and not just put in time while waiting to recover, I needed to live NOW not THEN. During those dark days of melancholy and hopelessness the light broke through and I embraced fresh hope and a new perspective in order to live each day to the fullest!
- I made a choice to embrace a new purpose and pluck the fruit while it was ripe.
- I realized that each day (even from a place of suffering and recovery) I was able to dance footloose upon the earth.
Really living each day doesn’t mean…
- you need to do something really “big”.
- you need to take a big trip.
- you need to close the big sale.
- you need to make a huge mark.
Really living and picking today’s fruit means…
- …doing what you do with your full attention.
- …being who you are with the people you’re with right now.
- …using your time, talents, resources, energy to the fullest today!
In what way are you being challenged to Carpe Diem?
How might your attitude need adjusting so you can pluck today’s ripe fruit?
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