What would you do if you found out that today was your last day on Earth? Would you spend time with your family and friends? Would you try to accomplish as much as possible? Or would you just sit back and enjoy the time you have left?
Psychology can offer some insights into how people might react in this situation. Studies on terror management theory suggest that humans have a built-in need to feel like their lives are meaningful and that they matter in the grand scheme of things. So, when faced with their own mortality, people often try to reaffirm their worldviews and find ways to cope with the fear of death.
In one study, participants were asked to imagine that they had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had only six months to live. They were then asked about their priorities for the time they had left. The majority of participants said that spending time with loved ones was their top priority, followed by making sure their affairs were in order and enjoying themselves.
So, if you found out today was your last day on Earth, it’s likely that you would want to spend time with your loved ones and make the most of the time you have left. You might also reflect on your life so far and try to find ways to make it more meaningful. Ultimately, everyone deals with their own mortality in different ways, but Psychology can offer some insights into how humans tend to react when faced with the end of their lives.
“You never know when your last day on Earth will come, make the most of each and every day.” My mother advised my brother and me the night before tragedy struck. That peaceful May night I went to bed; only to be awakened by a terrible and devastating nightmare. The dream was about my cousin, Travis, dying in a car accident.
In the dream, I was driving the car and felt an immense amount of guilt. The next morning, my mother called us downstairs for breakfast as usual but her voice sounded different to me. It sounded as if she knew something we didn’t. When we all sat down at the table, my mother looked at us with a serious face and said “Travis died in a car accident last night.” At that moment, I realized that my nightmare was reality.
Psychology explains that often times when people have a premonition or nightmare about someone dying, it comes true because our subconscious is trying to warn us about impending danger. In this case, my subconscious was warning me about Travis’ death. If only I had known what my nightmare meant, I could have saved him.
Travis’ death was a tragedy that changed my life forever. It made me realize that every day is a gift and we should cherish the time we have with our loved ones. We never know when our last day on Earth will be, so make the best out of everyday.
I spent the next ten minutes trying to stay awake while my friend called me to tell me that my nightmare had become a reality. I was only 14 years old, and I couldn’t quite comprehend the truth that my closest friend, my additional brother, and my huge cousin had just deserted us for good. For the next five years of my life, I applied her adage about “you never know when your last day on Earth will be,” to everything I did/do.
On October 8th, 2013 at 9:30pm I was in a car accident that changed my life. October 8th is the day my world stopped turning and the day I found out “you never know when your last day on Earth will be”.
At 14 years old, psychology and human nature were not concepts that I grasped easily. It took me 5 years to realize what happened on October 8th, 2013. That night, I was sitting in the passenger seat of my mothers car as my little sister sat behind me in her car seat. We were stopped at a stop light waiting to turn left onto the highway. Seconds after the light turned green, I heard a loud screech and then felt a forceful jolt. The next thing I remember is waking up to my mother screaming and the sound of glass shattering.
I was trapped in the car, pinned by the steering wheel. As my mother continued to scream, I tried to assess the situation. I knew that my legs were both broken, my right arm was shattered in multiple places, and my pelvis was crushed. I could feel blood running down my face, but I couldn’t tell if it was mine or my mothers.
The only thing going through my mind at that moment was how much pain I was in and how scared I was. All of a sudden, the pain became too much and I passed out. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital surrounded by my family.
It took me 5 years to realize that October 8th, 2013 was the day my world stopped turning. It was the day I found out that you never know when your last day on Earth will be. And it was also the day that I realized how precious life is.
Since then, I have applied my mothers saying to everything I do. I try to make the best out of every day because I never know when it will be my last.
I was six years old when Travis departed our home. I thought he was my brother until then, and it came as a shock to me when my mother said, “Tell your cousin goodnight, Brookie.” He stayed in touch with me every night after that day, comforting me over family issues, school work, and the altercation I had with a friend that day; he was there for me every single night getting me through it all; but once life got significantly more difficult for me, he disappeared.
So, when my mom called me downstairs on that cold winter day, I had a hunch that something was wrong. As I walked down the stairs and into the living room, I saw Travis’s car parked outside. “What’s going on?”, I asked. My mom sat me down and explained to me that Travis had been in a car accident and didn’t make it. In that moment, my whole world came crashing down.
I spent the rest of that day in my room, not wanting to talk to or see anyone. All I could think about was how unfair it was. Travis was only 23 years old; he had his whole life ahead of him. And now he was gone, just like that. I didn’t understand how something like this could happen.