Distinguishing Between Being Alive & Living

Alive vs Living

The distinction between alive and living relates to the connotations associated with each word and the context in which they are used. Some people believe that from birth to death, we are following a predetermined path set by a higher power. Our lives can be short or long, filled with good or bad experiences, focused on materialism or higher consciousness, and so on. Most of us are merely living, as it comes naturally to us, even during our sleep. However, there is another word related to living: alive. A living being is considered alive, and they are no longer alive once they have died. Is this the only difference between living and alive, or is there more to this dichotomy?

What does Living mean?

Living involves breathing, just as animals do to stay alive. A person can be described as living when they are breathing and performing all the necessary actions required for life, such as eating, drinking, and sleeping. Living is also the word used to describe residing or being somewhere. For example, “I am living in New York” indicates that the person currently resides in New York. However, when someone says they are truly living their life, it means they are following their dreams and passions beyond just the essentials needed to live. You may have heard people say they are “living the dream,” which means they have realized their dream and are happy.

Key Takeaways

  • Living involves performing the necessary actions required for life, such as breathing, eating, and sleeping.
  • Being alive is living at a higher level of consciousness and taking note of our surroundings.
  • Alive can also refer to a person being not dead, such as in an accident or medical context.

What does Alive mean?

Being alive involves living in a very active way. However, it goes beyond just inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Being alive means taking an interest in our surroundings, appreciating the beauty of a flower, the playfulness of a puppy, the soaring of an eagle in the sky, taking in the fresh smell of the first raindrops on soil, comforting someone who has just lost their son, listening to soulful music, and giving food to the hungry, among other things.

While you can say that a person is alive because they are walking and talking, if they have become so materialistic that they feel it is a waste of time to listen to the words of a pastor, it would be more accurate to describe the person as living but not alive at a deeper consciousness level. However, being alive is not something that can be measured like a person’s temperature, which can be higher on some days and lower on others. There are days when people are more alive than on other days.

On a physiological level, living is the opposite of dead, and the world is divided into living and non-living things. However, can you compare your level of consciousness with that of a lowly creature like a worm, as both of you are living? This is where the concept of being alive comes into the picture. You feel alive when you are happy and full of hopes and desires, dreaming about a better tomorrow. But, you feel that you are merely living when things are not going according to your plans, and you are facing obstacles in all your endeavors. Even if you feel you are at the receiving end, you can always make a start and feel what it is like to be alive and kicking.

In another context, alive carries the same meaning as living, as it indicates that a person is not dead. This is often found in the context of accidents. When paramedics arrive at the scene of an accident, they check the victims and say if they are alive or not. Alive in this context means that a person is still not dead, and their body is still functioning properly.

What is the difference between Alive and Living?

The world is divided into living and non-living things. However, not all living things are equal. A human being is much more alive than a living earthworm, as humans have the option of choosing from several alternatives, while other creatures only have the options of eating, sleeping, and dying.

  • Definitions of Alive and Living:
  • Living is just passing the days as a being, breathing, eating, sleeping, etc.
  • Being alive is living at a higher level of consciousness and taking note of our surroundings.
  • Other Meanings:
  • Sometimes, living means a person has achieved their dreams.
  • Sometimes, alive just refers to a person being not dead, such as in an accident.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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