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Have you seized the day?

Humankind has for long felt the way it is told to feel. The seductive words in books, the mesmerising scenes of movies, the silver tongued song writers have long been the lens through which we experience life. And that seems alright. Sometimes it takes borrowed words to find our true selves. But we are now in a dangerous space. Our dependance on others telling us how to think and feel now taken away our ability to actually think and feel. Advertisements now tell us how to seize the day, taste the thunder and simply put, just do it. The term carpe diem has been hijacked by brands, corporate movie studios, green-eyed businessmen, politicians with an agenda and friends with good intentions. Now we are losing the ability to feel one instagram post at a time. Spontaneity has been robbed from us, and we haven’t even objected. Quite the opposite, in fact. We now plan our spontaneous moments, our experiences and what we will experience during these experiences. We know the words that describe rebellious love, undiluted desire, sinful gluttony, the first rays of the sun caressing snow peaked mountains, deep blue waves passionately devouring our salt soaked bodies. But what do we actually feel?

What did the Roman poet Horace actually mean when he coined the term carpe diem two thousand years ago? If we strip off the layers piled on to us by brands and coaches and businessmen and hippies, is it possible to imagine that to seize the day is simply to be? If so, then the desire to make each day count must not be triggered by a sense of yolo (you only live once), but an awareness that we are alive and hence we must live fully and passionately. And that perhaps carpe diem is not about indulging in pleasures and experiences, but time itself.