Let ” Living” Catch Up With You

Stop sign
Stop sign

If you would like to have background music while you are reading, please click on the arrow below.

This piece, translated into English below, was originally written in Chinese. Its author is unknown. The author brilliantly and humorously tells the story of life and death to help us understand the importance of stopping, standing still and looking around. In doing so, we can appreciate life more.
I believe this piece, together with “What is Life” which I previously posted, can give us some guidance for our lives.

Let ” Living” Catch Up With You

There was once a man who was very afraid of death.

He wondered: “Is ‘death’ in front of me? Or is it behind me?”

He recalled that people are always running forward when death comes, such as in plane crashes and car accidents. Animals are also running to flee for their lives when they are being hunted. Animals are never retreating when they lose their lives, so death pursues from behind.

He came to an important conclusion: “The only way not to be killed or let death catch up with you is to run faster and more hastily.”

So every day he was always in a hurry. Whether eating, working, or walking, he did everything three times faster than he used to.

One day, while he was rushing to go on a journey, an old man with a white beard suddenly stopped him.

The old man asked him: “Why are you in such hurry? What are you chasing?”

He said: “I am not chasing something, but escaping something!”

“What do you want to escape?” the old man asked.


The old man said: “How do you know death is behind you?”

He answered:  “Because it’s when animals are running to flee for their lives that death catches up with them.”
The old man said:  “You are wrong! Death does not chase you from the starting point, but is waiting for you at the finish line.  No matter whether you run fast or slow, you will eventually reach the end. ”

He asked: “How do you know?”

“Because I am the messenger of Death!” said the old man.

The man was stunned and said: “You appear before me tonight. Does this mean my time is up?”

He said: “Oh! Don’t be afraid. Your time has not yet come, but you have been going too fast. My brother, “Living,” has been complaining to me that he can’t catch up with you. If you don’t meet up with him, aren’t you dead?  He specifically asked me to tell you to slow down!”

“How do I meet up with ‘Living’?”

The old man said: “First of all, you have to stand still. Calm your mind, and look around. Understand with your heart. Feel with love and appreciate with all your might, so that ‘Living’ will be able to catch up with you.

When he slowed down, the old man said: “Look back. My brother is coming.”

He turned around.  The old man was gone, but a beautiful street scene that he had never seen before appeared before him.

( A beautiful street scene Honolulu, Hawaii)

Previous Jokes