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This I Believe: In Deadlines

Jillian Cole headshot
Rachel Lattimore
NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Imagine everyone could live forever - never aging, never worrying about having time to do the things we envision because we have limitless years. However, such a life is impossible. Humans are not made to last. 

Though it seems terrible to be confined to only one hundred years, It’s a blessing. Having a deadline for life, and for many things in life, is beneficial to mankind, and to the individuals who live or have lived. If humans could live forever, I’m inclined to believe it wouldn’t be a good thing. If people could sit knowing they would not die within the upcoming years, who's to say they would not continue sitting? If they felt no hurry, why would they be inclined to make any sudden movements, changes, choices? Events might occur, but they would be so spaced out over time that they would become almost insignificant. The feeling of life passing by would cease to have meaning.

Thank goodness lifespans are not everlasting! Had we all the time in the world, it’s likely no advancements would be made. With all the time in the world, why would it matter if we had artificial lights for studying or working through the night, if we had an infinite number of days ahead to finish the work? If people are as I believe them to be, most would procrastinate. If I did not feel the need to finish something, I might never do it. I believe in deadlines because they mean duties and goals are met in due time.

Having no end in sight would be exhausting. Never knowing when a duty should be fulfilled would be like running into oblivion. Trust me when I say that is never easy. The knowledge that one day, a time will come when an event, a life, must end is a comfort to many people. Deadlines also mean ends to pain. I am grateful some obligations terminate. I am also grateful those in misery are allowed to escape their plights through the deadline that is death. Without such a cutoff many might live to endure even more terrible events. I believe deadlines are good, even if they are only a means of escape. Without the deadline of death, we would not have discovered so much about life. Deadlines mean humans are forced to learn about the world around us. To learn is to better humanity, for we would be nothing without knowledge. I believe in deadlines because they enable us to take risks. Deadlines make us feel like something must be done, and done soon, or a chance will be missed, a moment lost. The deadlines set upon us and the deadlines we set upon ourselves are essential to full and even happy lives. Life without worry or obligation would be no life at all, for there would be nothing to truly live for. I believe in deadlines because they give incentive to move forward and grant the relief of an end.

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