Carpe Diem and Beyond

              One of my favorite movies is Dead Poet’s Society. I re-watched this classic just last weekend in fact. It’s a powerful movie. It touches on several heavy topics like breaking out of conformity, thinking for yourself, standing up for what you believe in, and it does all this with bits of comedy sprinkled in thanks to the genius of Robin Williams. Another powerful message this film pounds into your head is the phrase, “Carpe Diem”. This Latin phrase translates to “seize the day”. After watching this movie, you can’t help but to say this phrase yourself.

              Carpe Diem. It is a phrase that reminds us that life is finite. One day we will all be part of the ground, as Robin Williams’ character put it. So while we’re here on Earth, what do we want to make of ourselves? What do we want to do with the short time we have? What do you think those who lived before us would do if they had another chance of living? Do you think they would take the same path they took previously or do you think they’d make the most out of their life? Because they would know better than anyone that life is short and you have to cherish it while you have it.

              Carpe Diem. This phrase helps us get into a mindset of doing what you truly want to do in life. It helps block out what society expects of us and gives our own passions the spotlight. It shows us that there is more to life than doing what you’re told, when you’re told, and as you’re told. Seizing the day means going for it, no matter how silly you may think it is.

              Carpe Diem. Don’t get the message of this phrase confused with being foolish. Like in the film, one of the students take this message too far and thinks of himself as being impervious to foolish behavior. And that’s not what carpe diem is saying. As this happens in the film, Robin Williams’ character reiterates the importance of knowing where the line is between foolish and courageous. Seizing the day means you use this power for your good. Not to put down others, or to look good in front of your peers, but rather to follow your heart.

              Carpe Diem. Every time I watch Dead Poet’s Society, the same phrase gets stuck in my head. This film reminds me to seize the day. It reminds me to follow my heart and go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you learn from your mistake and therefore less likely to make that mistake the next time you try it. Whenever you think you need a pick me up in life, think about this phrase. Also, think about those who’ve died who didn’t get a chance to follow their dreams. That’s the real tragedy. Going a whole lifetime without doing what you truly want to do. Follow your heart and go for it. Make life worth living and seize the day.


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