"Born to die" is not only an oxymoron but the most basic fact of living. As a teenager, an idea rolled around in my brain like a tumbleweed in a dust storm: all the effort we put into our physical, mental and emotional life seems to evaporate at the "end," a thought that caused me to lament a la Peggy Lee,"Is that all there is?"
The first inhale enters the body at the moment of birth and the final exhale marks the precise moment of death. This means that we have a precise, finite number of breaths before the Grim Reaper takes us on a joy ride.
What if there is a "breath counter" in the clouds who has a clicker and marks off each inbreath and outbreath until he says, "Time's up." Knowing thus, if we were informed ahead of time as to exact amount of breaths we had in a lifetime, how would we use them?
When people say, "Don't waste your breath," maybe they are onto something. And when the teacher in your anger management class tells you to slow down your breath and inhale deeply, maybe that person realizes a thing or two about prolonging your preordained, allotted number of ins and outs!
If any of you want to live a little longer, then slow down, take deep, sweet inbreaths, then slowly let the air spill out into the deep blue sky and relax.