The theme of the website Ashley Madison proclaims: “Life is Short, Have An Affair.” Nearly 40 million people agreed. They signed up on the site which helps them find a sex partner so they can cheat on his or her spouse. I had no idea websites like this existed.
But now the hackers have brought it out into the open. And they have names, contact information, and credit card numbers of everyone who signed up. To make things even more interesting they are publishing the data.
For me this was only another sad story of where our culture is going. But then, as I read the headlines, I noticed the theme. When I read the words “Life is short. Have an affair” it caught my attention.
The theme grabs hold of a deep-seated fear of people who are entering the last third of life. This fear is rooted in the inescapable truth that time is running out. More of life is behind us than before us. And those of us in that category are afraid life will end before we get to fully experience it. Ashley Madison has tapped into this fear and beckons people to do crazy and irrational acts before it is too late.
Have you ever known someone who “went off the deep end” later in life? People say, “I don’t know what happened but he just ran off with another woman” or “it makes no sense but he went out and bought an expensive sports car.” Sometimes we call this a midlife crisis.
The feeling is real. People my age who feel this way don’t talk about it. But I feel a sense of quiet desperation when a voice whispers, “Life is short, if you ever wanted to do something you better do it.”
So Ashley Madison is 50% right: life is short. But what a stupid and devastating conclusion to reach: because life is short go have an affair. No, there’s a better motto to have running through your mind when you feel the clock ticking down.
Life is short. Go and do something wild and crazy to make a difference in your world.
- Life is short. Give a car to a single mom living in poverty.
- Life is short. Leave your law practice and only do pro bono cases for people who can’t afford a lawyer.
- Life is short. Go and help build roofs for people in Africa.
- Life is short. Volunteer at your local hospital.
- Life is short. Help the pastor build and strengthen your church.
- Life is short. Mentor a young adult who needs some guidance.
Dream a little. What can you do to make a difference in your world? If you have a fantasy let it be a fantasy to build up; not destroy.
The 40 million people who signed up on the website to cheat on their spouse have messed up their lives. But here’s my hope. I’m hoping there is another list being silently recorded. And on this other list is the name of people who decided life is short so they went and made the world a better place.
What can you do, large or small, do make your world a better place?
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