The Privilege of Life A Reflection on The Travelers Gift

"Life itself is a privilege, but to live life to its fullest - well, that is a choice!" These words, spoken to the traveler David Ponder in Andy Andrews' The Traveler's Gift, are more profound even than they sound, because the person speaking them led such a very constricted and difficult life. Her name was Anne Frank, and we know from her diaries that she did indeed live life to its fullest, hidden away in the Annex all those months before being taken away and murdered. I believe, like the Anne Frank Andrews presents, that living life to its fullest is a choice. There have been times in my life when I had to make a choice, not just about how or where I would live, but whether. Obviously, I chose to continue my life. My most difficult choice each day now is to get up and "live life to its fullest.

" There are days, like today, when I would dearly love to put down my keyboard, go upstairs and crawl back under the covers. Not for a nap. For the day. Some days, of course, I do. But we all have those days, and they pass. What I hope you'll hear from what I'm saying is that we have the choice to do more than that.

We have the ability to really live. I am a profoundly creative person, yet for many years I chose not to create. Many miserable years, with small bursts of creativity here and there. For me, learning to live life to its fullest meant learning that creativity is not something I can, or would want to, turn on and off like a spigot. I am creative.

Everything I do must have some element of creativity to it, or I am not living the life I was meant to live. I don't know what life you were meant to live, and maybe you don't, either. But I believe, very firmly, that we all have in us the ability to know what our fullest, best life is. I believe we know what we need and want out of life.

And I believe that most people have the ability to work toward that full life. These are important things to think about and talk about and work with in our lives. But I want to go back to the first part of the quote from above. Life itself is a privilege. How often do we think of life as something we "have" to do? How many times have you bemoaned your life, felt it was a burden? What would you do if you were locked up in a small space with six other people, knowing that at any moment you might be kidnapped ("arrested"), tortured and brutally murdered? What would you think of life now? Would it seem more precious than it does to you now? Then maybe you should start thinking of it as being that precious, now. Because it is.

So many people don't get the privilege we're giving, of living, and living free, and living well. It is important to remember to live life to the fullest, every day. It is vital, if you're going to live life to the fullest, to remember that it is a privilege.

Angie Dixon is a creativity expert and author of The Leonardo Trait: Living the Multipassionate Life. Get a free creativity kit at Contact Angie at


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