Life is Short: Taking a lesson from Omar Ahmad

By Nooreen Moinuddin

December 6th, 2010 is a day that will be engrained into the minds of many of the upperclassmen, professors and other faculty here at BenU. On that day, a fellow Benedictine student, Omar Ahmad, passed away by train accident. Normally, when people pass away, the first thing we think about is what a good person he was, how much we will all miss him, or how tragic and random the train accident was. However, in Omar’s case, the one thought that was floating around everyone’s minds that afternoon was: “He was ONLY 20. Who dies when they’re 20?!”

The idea of young and old is all relative. 20 years old seems extremely old to a 5-year-old child, but to a 50 year old mother, 20 is still only a baby. When you’re 20, you’re young, and all you’re thinking about is school, your friends, and making these precious college years count. When you’re 20, you don’t take life too seriously. You think, “I’ll do it later,” and think that you have time to redeem yourself; to right your wrongs, and become the person you plan on becoming. When you’re 20, you feel invincible enough to run across a railroad track with the intention of getting to the other side in time. You don’t think about dying. You don’t think about death. You take risks. You have fun. And you live in the moment. However, death does not discriminate based on age. There cannot be life, if there is not death. And death knows no limits, boundaries or guidelines.

Every day is a gift from God, and it is something to be grateful for and cherish. The same can happen to you, or someone you know, in the blink of an eye. Life is crazy and scary and amazing and horrible and long and short, and then one day, it’s all over. It is cliché to say, “You only live once,” but it’s true. Live each day as if it’s your last. Be kind to everyone, whether they deserve it or not, forgive people, do your absolute best in everything that you do, and always live life with a smile on your face.

Being college students, it is easy to lose track of what is really important, and what truly matters. You get sucked into a whirlwind of papers, exams, and extracurricular activities, and never stop to take a second and enjoy life. Of course, academics are extremely important, and the main reason that we are here at BenU. However, life is a delicate balance of work and play. Enjoy the moment, and always live for yourself and God. Never forget to show appreciation to your parents or guardians and try to never lose sight of how much they’ve done for you. When facing a difficult situation, just breathe, and remember that somewhere, someone else has it so much worse; it will pass, we promise. Stay true to yourself, your morals, and (try) to stay healthy, physically, mentally and spiritually. You never realize how truly quick life is until your son, best friend, classmate, brother, or cousin passes away at the age of 20.