When I read this sentiment a few weeks ago, it seemed to be given with an air of... defeat? Sort of an "it's all been done before, so why even bother getting up and trying to do anything?" I wasn't sure why, but it stuck in the back of my mind for occasional pondering. I couldn't disagree with the statement, really. There have been millions of lives that have come before mine, millions of lives and deaths and losses and dreams and failures and hopes and successes. It's probably true that it's all been done before. But, the feeling of defeat and hopelessness nagged at me.
It was one evening last week that the little whisper spoke in my ear.
"But not by you."
"Not by you. It hasn't all been done by you."
Then, it was gone and I was left to think over what the voice had left behind.
Everything has been done... but not by me.
Life has value, less by the tangible results that come out of it, than by the relationships and experiences that fill it. Maybe it's true that everything has been done before... every experience I have had, and will have, in my life may have been experienced by someone else in the past. But it hasn't been experienced by me, and that makes it new and valuable and worth getting up for!
Life isn't important for what we can put in the history book, although the history has its own value and is important in teaching us about what has come before and what we can learn from it, if we only listen. But, the cycle of life, and the experiences that fill it, are no reason to lie in the mud and mope. There is no defeat until we can look in the mirror at the end of our lives and confidently say that everything has been done, and we have done it. And even then, it seems that there would be too much pride in the living of such a full life for there to be much room for defeat to exist.