According to Steve Jobs, as paraphrased by Martin Meadows, it’s not a particularly pleasant practice to remember that we’re going to die, but it can serve as a powerful reminder that — in the grand scheme of things — there’s little we can lose and a lot we can gain by chasing after our dreams.

This morning, on my way to work, I encountered a near-miss experience that could have either claimed my life or changed my family’s.

I almost met a vehicular accident while riding a tricycle. My husband couldn’t drive me to work because of his work-related commitment. I had no choice but to commute.

The driver was in his early 20’s; hence, inexperienced and reckless (sorry for my judgment). But since I was in a hurry for my online class, I didn’t listen to that small voice telling me to wait a little for someone who looked more dependable and wouldn’t put my life in danger. I dismissed the alarm sounded by that inner voice.

I guess, the driver wanted to show me that he could drive fast because it was obvious that I was calculating his every move, in silence. In less than five minutes of his unreasonable speed and perhaps unfamiliarity with the route, we swerved into the opposite lane in a split second while a rushing truck was right behind about to smash us. I heard the truck skid and smelled its burning tire–thanks for the workings of my Guardian Angel. I was shocked but unhurt.

Five minutes later, I found myself taking and posting a selfie on my social media account. Maybe that’s my way of calming myself while in the stage of denial.

In the office, I immediately narrated the event to my colleague. I burst into tears after realizing that I indeed almost lost my life, or if not, got seriously injured had it not been for the strike of luck and Divine intercession.

The frequency of vehicular accidents reported online and in my circle on an almost daily basis is worrisome. Last week, I was facilitating the passing around of the hat for our colleague, whose both arms and legs were broken by an accident he encountered. He survived, but it would take him three to six months to be totally recuperated.

I don’t know if our authorities should look into this spike in accidents. What I know is that life is really fragile. No matter how we take care of it–eating the right food for our healthy diet, doing daily routines to keep us fit and in shape, setting the right mindset to stay positive despite all the negativities exacerbated by the pandemic– life can end right before our eyes, anytime, anywhere, and when we least expect it. Sad but definitely true.

I remember my college professor once told us to “live your every day as if it’s your last” because if you do, you’ll have all the enthusiasm you need to accomplish whatever it is that you set out to do.

Truly, we can make our lives more productive and meaningful. We can keep on giving our best effort to every task every single day, but we shouldn’t forget to also extract happiness from those efforts and share them with our friends. We can romanticize the outcome of our goals, but we also shouldn’t miss the present moment with our loved ones. We can keep working hard as we chase after our dreams, but let us not rob ourselves and our families of the pleasure of our little victories.

Perhaps, the most important lesson I learned from all these is to be grateful for the gift of life and appreciate its every moment. We sometimes fantasize about the future so much that we forget to enjoy the present. SLOW DOWN. READ. BREATHE.

This traumatic experience that I’m trying to overcome as I write this piece could have been SO. MUCH. WORSE. WITHOUT. DIVINE. INTERVENTION.

Life is beautiful but SHORT. SO. LIVE. LOVE. PRAY.ALWAYS.