In this essay, you will craft your own definition of a worthwhile life. What is important? What is not important? Have you lived a worthwhile life as you define it? What have you done, and what will you do? How will you use your days prudently?
Trust your instincts & have fun with this one, too.
For reference and inspiration, here is an excerpt from John B. McLemore’s “A Worthwhile Life, Defined”:
I have coaxed many infirm clocks back to mellifluous life… Studied projective geometry and built astrolabes, sundials, taught myself 19th century electroplating, bronzing, patination, micro machining, horology, learned piano, read Poe, de Maupassant, Boccaccio, O’Connor, Welty, Hugo, Balzac, Kafka, Bataille, Gibran, as well as modern works by Mortimer, Hawking, Kunstler, Klein, Jacoby, Heinberg, Hedges, Hitchings, and Rhodes.
But the best times of my life, I realize, were the times I spent in the forest and field. I’ve walked in solitude, beside my own babbling creek, and wondered at the undulations, meanderings, and tiny attles that were occasionally swept into its midst.
I’ve spent time in idle palaver, with violets, lyer leaf sage, heliopsis, and monkshood, and marveled at the mystery of monotropa uniflora. I have audited the discourse of the hickories, oaks, and pines, even when no wind was present. I have peregrinated the woods in winter under the watchful guard of vigilant dogs, and spent hours entranced by the exquisiteness and delicacy of tiny mosses and molds, entire forests, within a few square inches. I have also ran thrashing and flailing from yellow jackets.
Before I could commence this discourse, I spent a few hours out under the night sky, reacquainting myself with the constellations like old friends. Sometimes I just spent hours playing my records. Sometimes I took my record players and CD players apart just to peek inside and admire the engineering of their incongruous entrails. Sometimes I watched Laverne & Shirley or old movies or Star Trek. Sometimes I sat in the dark and listened to the creaking of the old house.
I have lived on this blue orb now for about 17,600 days, and when I look around me and see the leaden dispiritedness that envelops so many persons, both young and old, I know that … my life has been inestimably better than that of most of my compatriots.
I would hope that all persons reading this can enjoy some of the aspects of life that I have enjoyed, as well as those aspects that I never will, and will take cognizance of the number of waking days (they have) remaining, and use them prudently.
To all that have given so much, much love and respect,
John B. McLemore.
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