At 51 years of age, the actor, Michael Clark Duncan, cleared his refrigerator of $5,000 worth of meat and became a vegetarian. Three years later, he is dead at 54. Pass the ribs.
I do not mean to make light of Mr. Duncan's death. He was a good actor, and from all accounts, a good man. But only a joyful meat-eater would have had $5,000 worth of meat in his fridge. What or who could have scared him so that he would suddenly go cold turkey, and then go over the cliff?
We all die. But do we all live? Fear is not living, folks. Fear is hanging onto a life that you are afraid to live.
To have lived a long life does not mean you have lived a good life. In some cases, it only means that you have held on tighter; you didn't let go. But, it is that zeal to hold onto life that never allows us both hands to grab in life what truly matters.
Let go, man. Life does not love you; neither does death hate you. (They are both indifferent.) Embrace in life that which gets your juices flowing. Grab with both hands that which makes you feel alive.
Since MCD loved meat so, would it have been so bad to enjoy a morsel - a steak here, a hamburger there, a slice of bacon - in moderation? What does a long life profit a man when it is filled with fear and deprivation?
In this world, there is a doctor for, and against, everything. You like ribs? Somewhere, there is a doctor who will cheer you on. You like chocolates? I will be your doctor-for-a-day and order you to have a chocolate-covered cherry, now!
Mostly, I would say, "Be happy." It is no sin. Happiness is the gift of gifts. It is not meant to be had daily, and all day. But, at certain moments - when you've earned it - it is that thing that elicits a life-affirming "yes."