Carpe Diem seize the day by the scruff of the neck
As 2017 approaches, a new year, with anticipation and reflection on the passing of 2016, it is tinged with sadness as to the passing of so many great souls. The world of show business is now, thanks to social media, almost within our grasp, and stars of the stage and screen are elevated from our TV screens and by the power of Twitter, Facebook enter almost interactively into our lives. The conflict in Syria has shown desperate souls tapping in to media, helpless in a time of war. Venezuela is poised to be the next worldwide catastrophe, with mindless attacks in Nice, Paris and beyond, with too much loss to quantify.
Having worked for a number of years in the Financial Services, I am acutely aware of how actuaries calculate life insurance premiums and the role that mortality rates are factored into their calculations. I guess I may be hardened to the subject of death, and explaining the concept of life insurance in a compassionate way is almost second nature to me.
I am not surprised to learn of the number of high profile deaths this year, as am I not surprised by the number of deaths of ordinary folk within the UK. Its a fact that the Office of National Statistics publish on their website the number of deaths by region within the UK, the number of births, marriages and statistics of life expectancy within regions.
Carpe diem springs to mind. It is a Latin aphorism, which can be translated as "seize the day", I understand that it is taken from book 1 of the Roman poet Horace's work Odes. In a world full of madness, we struggle to make sense of the sad passing of a loved one, or a role model who we have adored for many years.
So on a positive note, if there is one thing we can take from the passing of many in 2016, it is Carpe Diem. Seize every day as if it is your last, by the scruff of the neck if you have to. Celebrate the life of those that made a difference in our lives, and embrace the qualities to which we have admired. We learn that George Michael gave millions to charity, and that's because he could. He earned more in his lifetime than we could ever imagine. You don't have to be a great philanthropist, but give a little back to charity, donate unwanted clothes, organise a cake sale, and I'm sure you will make a difference.
So you gotta have faith, instead of setting unrealistic targets for 2017, eat sensibly, rather than binge dieting. Cut down on the alcohol and think twice before opening that 2nd bottle of wine. Try some exercise, and keep it up. The analysts will look back at 2016 with pessimism, but in reality we just lost a few too many bright stars, and a few more we waiting in the wings to be born.