Today a cover caught my attention in a bookstore window. It read something like "The top 100 world wonders to see before you die". Right next to it, another one said "1000 places to visit before you die". I winked, rubbed my eyes and looked again. They were still there. I couldn’t believe it.

I‘ll skip the fact that the bookseller must have been having quite a bad day. What really bothers me is the author’s approach. After all, what’s so important about death that we should use it as an incentive to do cool things while we are alive? Is death the only motivation one can find to do extraordinary things?

The book titles should have been "Top 100 world wonders to visit right away, because new ones will be created later", or maybe "1000 places to visit this year because life is worth the trip".

Our fixation with death prevents us from living our lives fully. Let’s not confuse what’s important with what’s unavoidable.

As Marcel Pagnol once had one of his memorable characters say:

"De mourir, ça ne me fait rien. Mais ça me fait peine de quitter la vie. 1 "

Dying doesn’t bother me. What saddens me is loosing my parting with life. 2

[1 Marcel Pagnol – César]
[2 As duly corrected by Sigrid]