Simply to Live

In an attempt to improve my Spanish-speaking abilities, I had hired a teacher. A recent assignment was to listen to a Marc Anthony song trying to recognize and decipher the words. I have improved immensely at reading Spanish, by my auditory and verbal skills are lacking. Even without dialect issues, being able to comprehend when people speak is difficult. At this point, I am up to recognizing and comprehending about every third word spoken. Sometimes it is enough for me to understand the gist of what someone is saying. Sometimes it can get me into trouble. Going through the exercise listening to the song was helpful, and frustrating. But it was well worth it as the song had a beautiful message.

In the official video for the song, Marc Anthony begins by asking, “What is your legacy?” In his response, he doesn’t talk about the number of albums he has sold, the number of countries he has played in, or the notoriety and acclaim he has received. In his words, “Yo vivo para, de alguna manera, dejar mi huella . . . yo simplemente vivo” which translates to “I live to, in some way, leave my footprint . . . I simply live.” He speaks about being a father, son, brother, and friend. He says he is his smile, his music, and part of New York and Puerto Rico. Nothing more. Nothing less. His legacy is just to live.

The song talks about laughing, dancing, and enjoying life. It recognizes that everyone will have some rain – disappointments, losses or challenges – but that these cleanse our wounds and help us move forward. No matter what we suffer, that is part of life and we are just meant to live it.

Many of us, including me, at different ages have explored what life is about. What are we supposed to leave behind? What is the purpose of being here? Teenage angst was filled with discovering myself and being confused over my purpose. My twenties were full of hopelessness of achieving the success I thought I wanted. A nice midlife crisis had me re-evaluating all the years I spent pursuing something which did not fulfill me. Thankfully lately I tend to agree with Mr. Anthony.

There is no big secret to life. There is no big purpose. The only thing we are supposed to achieve with our life is to live it. To make the most of each moment. To move past fear. To experience emotions – good and bad. To feel love and heartbreak. To win and lose. To touch, to feel, to move, to laugh, to cry.

As you go through today, notice how much you are actually living. Are you in the moment or are you thinking about a past foible? Are you smiling and laughing or are you fearing the future? Did you take an opportunity when it presented itself or did you deny yourself? Are you living your life or watching it go by?

As for me, “I’m going to laugh, I’m going to dance, feel, dance and enjoy, there is only one life. “ / “Voy a reír, voy a bailar, siente, baila y goza, que la vida es una sola.”

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