September 05, 2004
To the Virgins, to make much of Time
by Robert Herrick
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
A friend of mine and I were talking about sex. Particularly the practice of sex with a partner to whom you know you have no intention of being committed.
His thought was that while it's best not to practice willy-nilly hedonism generally, there are times when you just want to lie back and enjoy yourself. He actually said that he is a fairly conservative but he's trying to teach himself to "sieze the day."
My response to that sort of thing is that while it is important to take opportunities as they present themselves, one should never take opportunities that lead one away from one's long-term goals. This means that while living in the moment is (technically unavoidable) a terribly hip sentiment, the moment cannot be considered outside of the context of the entire lifetime.
It's for that reason that I don't "hook up." I'm not looking for sex. Sex is easy to get. I'm looking for a fulfilling, monogamous, long-term relationship that supplements and enhances my life. Having sex and not meaning it may not necessarily take me further from that goal, but it certainly doesn't bring me closer, so I'm not interested.
The rest of the world would do well to identify what's important in their lives and work only for those things. It saves time and regret.
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