We Die When We Stop Being Productive
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
The reason why we are in this world is that we create and keep enriching the universe in a way that only each individual can. When I say create, I refer to our particular way of working, serving others, and transforming matter into art. We all somehow create things every day.
The willingness to work on new projects, learn and help others in their journeys is what keeps us alive. We all wake up every morning with the desire of achieving goals. That pursuit makes us grow, but even without knowing it, with the knowledge we acquire and our actions, we are also contributing to the growth of others. In contrast, when we become sedentary and stop dreaming of conquering new challenges, we start dying. The gift of creativity we all received, begins to spoil, and the universe itself finds us worthless.
There is a famous tale I read when I was in high school called Francisca y La Muerte (Francisca and Death) by Onelio Jorge Cardoso. It tells the story of Death as a real character. It tries to find and take the life of Francisca, a vigorous old woman who keeps being involved in new activities every day. I especially love the final fragment of the story:
Death walked and walked. In the town square, they told Death that Francisca was nearby, cutting grass to feed her grandchildren's cow; but when Death arrived, there was no sign of Francisca.
And Death, who already had swollen feet, pulled out a watch and checked the time:
"God! It's half-past four! I must go! The train will leave!"
And returned to the abyss cursing.
Meanwhile, two miles away, Francisca was tending to a little garden by the school. An old horseman passed, he smiled and asked:
"Francisca, when will you die?"
She sat up from the roses and replied cheerfully,
"Never! There's always something to do."
Death, tired of looking for Francisca everywhere gave up without success. The woman was too busy for dying.
Reflecting on this tale, I started to ask myself, did I learn something new today? Did I create something? Did I help someone? If the answer is no, I do not need to worry too much. Just by walking some meters away from home there are people in need in the streets I can bless, and from whom I can learn life lessons. As Francisca says in the story, “there’s always something to do”!