#6

Live every day as if it were your last.

This is the Carpe Diem step. Honestly, it sounds cliche, but sometimes cliches are true.

The point is to really live this day fully. Not to be petty. Not to hold a grudge. Not to nurse a wound. But to be open (and yes, okay, loving) to the people in your day. There are people, places, adventures right there in front of you.

Celebrate this one day only. And especially your relationships. Because happiness is found in relationships. Sure, it’s fine for religions to extol the benefits of the silent retreat, monastic life, 40 days and nights alone in the wilderness. And I’m sure there’s something to be said for that kind of withdrawal from humanity.

But I have to believe that real joy and meaning is found in hugs, laughter, friends, family. Just being in the presence of one another. Like E. M. Forster says in “Howard’s End,” “Connect! Only Connect!”

On August 16, Rev. Anna Carter-Florence spoke at Camp Dudley Chapel service. Her teenage son introduced her. He mentioned all of her credentials, like that she taught sermonology at a divinity school in Atlanta; she had been given awards, etc. Then he closed his introduction with, “The light of my life, my mother.”

That was living the day to the fullest. He could’ve been sarcastic and not exposed his feelings. But, instead, this teenage boy, in front of hundreds of other teenage boys, said “I love you.”

That was awesome.

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