What does it mean to be alive? Vibrant question with some terribly dull yet technically correct answers like not being a rock? The more accurate question I’m wanting to be asking is what’s the difference between living and existing as a person? A little less glamorous and a bit more cerebral, even though I’m meaning the same thing. I can’t see the second question being a dramatic movie or conversational line, for example. Regardless, what does it mean to be alive or living, rather than merely existing, as a person? For most of my life, I’ve never had a good answer until I heard world renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel share her meaning. Recently, though, I feel I have a better meaning, for me, at least.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, where I live, COVID testing is free. Further, because we have so few cases compared to the rest of the world, we have been able to encourage asymptomatic testing. That’s testing for people without symptoms who may or may not have COVID, to see if any spread is potentially being done by people without symptoms. We also have “pop-up” testing labs that move around to make it easy for people to get tested. When I finally learned about the location of near me on the day it was there, with enough advanced warning to go get tested, I went for the “experience”… and now, I want another. 🙂
I am listening to an average of 2.5 hours of podcasts per day so far in 2021. I didn’t plan it this way, but that’s how it’s turning out as I find more ways I can listen, and more podcasts and episodes to which I want to listen. The numbers look a bit out of control, though the important part is it doesn’t feel out of control. Still, I wonder if there is a problem with me listening to so much educational content per day, though I don’t mean a problem in the sense many might be thinking in terms of excessiveness with that time volume. But if not that, then what?
Since I officially started my two year journey for writing on January 1st (2021), I had been looking out for writing contests to enter so as to have some goals, get some feedback, and see how my writing compared to the winning entries. I feel good about my writing skills, but not disillusioned to think I would win starting out. I am not well read for literary writing to know what qualifies high calibre writing outside of the classics. To use an analogy, I have no idea what times are good for a recreational 10 km race or a marathon, say, only what are good for national, world, or Olympic races. I’m sure the time gap isn’t huge, if any, for recreational races that are big enough, but what about the local or regional ones, or ones that didn’t include participants who have had acclaim and/or won big prize money. What’s “good” then? A question even harder to answer with something artistic as writing rather than something quite directly measurable as race time.
Most of us have heard about psychotic killers, or at least criminals, who did violent crime because they deemed a voice from some thing, some creature, maybe even some person via TV or such, being a manifest of the devil or demon or some other supernatural evil being, urged them to. With people interacting more with apps and devices that can talk and/or text to us back, how long will it be before one of these “voices” be cited as that of the devil, demons, or maybe even evil artificial intelligence, for the psychotic to commit crimes? And what then?