Every Day Is A Life
An unexpected encounter with Gandhi.
A few days ago, while wandering on Twitter, I read a quote from the Mahatma that deeply moved me: “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
It happens to be, certainly for different reasons from those of Gandhi, my philosophy since I nearly died in a rock climbing accident 12 years ago.
As I explain in “Entre la vie et le vide” (only available in French), a book on the management of fear by professional climbers, my accident has heightened my awareness of death, leading me to enjoy every second of life and make every minute useful. It is an abstract feeling for those who have not been confronted with their own end. But this feeling is even more powerful when such a confrontation is violent.
The trauma of my accident fostered my future happiness by creating a radical relativization of my annoyance scale. Facing death led me to reassess my life, leaving aside shallow ambitions and focusing on the simple pleasures provided by a privileged life and the sharpened awareness of death. As Irish author C. S. Lewis wrote, “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
So, for “only” 12 years, I have been living every day as a little life.