Today, dance music lost a bright, talented young man. Samisoni Koroitamudu, better known as BIG MAKK, died in a crash earlier this morning. The Dim Mak artist’s death is sending shockwaves throughout the electronic music community.
Death isn’t very common in dance music, with most touring artists being under the age of 30. Hell, electronic music is hardly old enough for the early veterans to be dying of natural causes. It is only rare incidences like this where an electronic producer passes away. While we mourn BIG MAKK’s death, there’s a place to remind ourselves that we are, indeed, mortal.
Remember, this is all temporary
“Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good.”
– Marcus Aurelius
I’m young. Too young to even legally buy alcohol. Often, I find myself getting caught up in my youth, saying that important decisions can wait. I’ll find myself saying, “Sky, you are probably going to live to be 80. At the least: 60. You have time.” I live as if I was going to live forever. And that the important things to me (like presence, happiness, achievement) can be put off as I cruise through eternity.
But the fact is that you or I won’t live forever. What you want to create has to be created today, for there is no guarantee of tomorrow. You have to choose to be happy today. You have to choose to enjoy the ride today, or make your dreams happen today.
Likewise, we should also remember that the world will continue without us. This does not mean we should not mourn, but means that, while we are live, we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. The problems that we experience will someday pass. Our discretions will be forgotten. When ego comes crashing into our heads, it is helpful to remind ourselves that we aren’t as important as we might think. 1000 years from now, it would be a miracle for anyone to remember us, and impossible to remember all of our accomplishments, struggles, and moments. Even those who go down in the history books are forgotten once kids leave high school. So don’t take yourself so seriously, whether you’re accomplishing your goals or making your mistakes. Both will end up, like you, as dust.
An alternative to carpe diem
“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”
While it is trendy to say “live every day like it’s your last”: it is impractical.
As the classic story goes, someone finds out they have months to live. They take the diagnosis, and then decide to accomplish all of their life’s dreams within a short amount of time. They go about spending as much money and time as possible to experience the things they always wanted. After skydiving and touring the world, they might rest easy, knowing their life was fulfilled. Though their bank account is shot, and their is credit demolished, they’re dead, and do not need to worry about material things.
For us living, however, we simply cannot always afford the time or resources to live every day like our last. We can’t blow off work to go backpack across the nation. But we also can’t expect ourselves to grind all of the time. Not all of us have the opportunity to make work out of our pleasure, and truly enjoy the thing that we make our living from. But we all have the choice to live purposefully, and the grace to forgive ourselves for when we don’t.
Instead of chasing pleasurable adventures or pursuing a life of strict achievement, perhaps it is wiser to choose the life we live, rather than accept it. Even if you are having a day-off, do activities that you genuinely enjoy, instead of defaulting to what’s easy. Instead of having a good day, choose a good day.
Whenever I’m asked a question like, “How is your day treating you?”, I answer with this.
“I am treating my day great.”
In the mornings, wake up with the diligence of a new day. Go out and leave everything better than when you found it. Make decisions consciously–not necessarily in the eco sense–but in the sense that you are taking action, rather than accepting reaction. Treat your day–don’t let it treat you.
Be grateful for every breath
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ”
Since we can die at any moment, let’s rejoice in life.
Recently, I underwent a thought exercise with a professor of mine. He got up in front of the class, and asked us to draw a line down the middle our paper. On the left, we were to write down all of our weaknesses, or things we would change about ourselves. On the right, we were to write down all of our strengths.
He began to walk through the process, taking down his physical strengths and weaknesses as example.
“Well you see, I have these bad eyes. I need to wear glasses. That’s a weakness that I’d like to change.”
He continued, “but I have a friend who is completely blind, so I guess being able to sort of see without my glasses is a strength that I like about myself.”
He went on–he had a replaced knee, but could still walk. He wore hearing aids, but wasn’t deaf. He, at 58, was happy to still have a full head of hair that grows.
After creating this list of things he liked and disliked about his physical self, he stepped back from the board and wondered.
“So now that I have this list, would I want to trade one of my weaknesses in order to gain a strength? Would I like not to wear glasses, but couldn’t see? Would I like to be unable to walk, but still have a good knee? Would I like to not have to wear hearing aids, but be deaf?”
I shook my head. He had a point: Not only do we focus on what’s wrong over what’s going right, but we also forget things aren’t as bad as they could be. Perhaps as he ages, those things will start slipping away. His sight decreased, his mobility shot, his hearing gone. But for now, he will revel in the capabilities that he has.
So go forth and be grateful for what you have, while you still have it. Show someone that you appreciate them. Give thanks to a friend or loved one. When you find yourself angry, frustrated, or sad, think “Well, at least I have _______ still.” As Tony Robbins put best, “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
So go out and remember you are mortal. Because of that remembrance, live every day with purpose, and don’t lose sight of what you have for the illusion of what you don’t.
Please consider donating to help BIG MAKK’s family with funeral costs for their son. The GoFundMe has raised over $20,000 from names like Brillz, Marhshmello, Diplo, Mija, and Dillon Francis.