"Now is not the time for making new enemies..." was Voltaire’s response when asked by a priest at his deathbed to renounce Satan.
H-E-double hockey sticks. For a long time, we couldn’t even say the word. It was as stigmatized and forbidden as f*ck, c*nt and all those nasty ones you just love to use now.
Today, not only have we gotten used to using the word in sentences without spelling it out, we’ve also accepted the idea that we could very well be headed there. According to many religions that preach and teach certain rules of conduct that are to be followed exactly if one wants to reach the sacred afterlife, we should all be entering the fiery pit come judgment day -- or at least any of us who have truly lived.
We've tried drugs, partied on the edge and said a sh*t ton of bad words. We’ve disobeyed our parents, slandered the church and most definitely taken God’s name in vain. We’ve eaten meat when we should only be eating fish, had sex before getting married and done a good amount of lying, cheating and maybe stealing. But we've definitely lived.
We may not be able to say we’re the most pure and innocent people in the world, but we can say we didn't waste a moment. We’ve been careless, reckless and dangerous. We’ve been spontaneous, unshackled and completely uninhibited. We’ve been pioneers, rule breakers and revolutionaries (and no, we haven't murdered anyone).
In hell I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings and princes, but in heaven there are only beggars, monks, hermits and apostles. —Niccolò Machiavelli
Because, what if hell and heaven aren’t real? What if this is your one shot and you’re ruining it by adhering to a life of guilt and penance? What if you’re wasting your life following the rules of someone else, when you should just be living by your own?
Those who have truly lived know that no one ever got anywhere by listening to others and playing it safe. Life is about thriving and growing, even if it means getting your hands dirty every once in a while (of course, that shouldn’t include murder, corruption or sabotage). It means deviating from the boring straight-laced rules our parents and our religion have dictated for a pure life.
No one ever did anything great by just following the straight and narrow path. You need to make sacrifices and unpopular decisions to get to the things you want to do and places you want to go in life. You need to be a little bit selfish and uninhibited if you want to make a life you will be proud to call your own. Because you get one shot at this thing (as far as we know) and living your life scared of a destiny you may never meet is a waste of your one shot.
So if I’m going to Hell for living on the edge, I can’t wait to meet whoever else is down there because at least I know that they really knew how to live.
Disclaimer: Obviously there are people in hell who are not worthy of respect or adoration. This does not apply to everyone.
They’ve Made Mistakes
To make a mistake is to grow as a person. The more mistakes you make, the more lessons you learn and the more you grow. We recall our time on earth by the major achievements and mistakes we've made in our lives. It's the regrets, the memories and the errors in our lives that contribute to who we become. We’re really just a collection of all the things that have gone right and all the things that have gone terribly wrong, and the more mistakes, the more full the person.
They’ve Had Experiences
To live a full life means experiencing as much as possible. It means being open to everything and never letting obstacles or the idea of the impossible stop you from getting what you want. Be adventurous, outlandish, unpredictable. Stow away on a passing train, jump some fences, skinny dip in a pool that’s not yours. Don’t live like you’re scared of the consequences, live like you have absolutely nothing to lose.
They’ve Followed Their Gut
Let your soul be your guide to the world and never ignore your gut instincts. Follow your heart, even if everyone around you is telling you otherwise. Be your own person and learn to listen to yourself. Those who never let others interfere with their dreams are the ones who truly lived according to their own whim. Those who followed their gut can never go home wishing they had just listened to their conscience.
They’ve Played It By Their Own Rules
Everyone has his or her own moral code and being a good person means knowing the difference between right and wrong. However, things that aren't understood or accepted by everyone many times become stigmatized. It's your job (and right) to choose what deserves to stay "evil" and "wrong" and what things you will stand by, stigmas and all. Live life by what you know is right and you will never go home with regret.
They’ve Got The Best Stories
We’re all attracted to the bad boy the same way we’re all attracted to people who have the best stories. They’re that type of person who always defies the odds, playing it rough and going after the big win. They knew how to squeeze the most out of life while everyone else dreamed of a life worth sharing. Be that person who's respected as someone who knows how to grab life by the balls.