Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey, You're ALIVE!

Every year a very important anniversary passes unnoticed. For some of us it's coming sooner, others later, but for each and every one of us it is coming. Cyd Charisse found out hers on June 17th, 2008. Paul Newman celebrated his last Friday, September 26th. Aren't you curious about your death date? When will it be? April 12th? 2043?

Is mine tomorrow?

When I think about the day I will die, I am reminded of how exciting it is to be alive. And how fortunate. I find this quote from "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins particularly inspiring:


I picture the relative brevity of life by imagining a laser thin spotlight creeping along a gigantic ruler of time. Everything before or after the spotlight is shrouded in the darkness of the dead past, or the darkness of the unknown future.

We are staggeringly lucky to find ourselves in the spotlight.


However brief our time in the sun, if we waste a second of it, or complain that it is dull or barren of boring, couldn't this be seen as a callous insult to those unborn trillions who will never be offered life in the first place? As many atheists have said better than me, the knowledge that we have only one life should make it all the more precious.

4 comments:

Joe Moore said...

I couldn't agree more with your blog. That's why I've decided to travel and see the world, because then I don't feel like I'm in a rut and wasting what little time I have on the earth.

I'm not an atheist, but I am not a main stream christian either, but I do know that I want to have my death day be a day where all my memories flood back into my mind and I relish that I really lived.

Mark in DE said...

An old friend once said "When I die, I hope I'm remembered as a person who was loving."

While I can't say that I've ever contemplated my death, I do hope these 2 things:
1. I die in my sleep
2. I am remembered for being kind

Mark :-)

Anonymous said...

Jesse,

Although I'm only in my 40s, I too think about death. I agree with the old saying: "I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." More frightening to me is old age. I am the youngest of my siblings and all my cousins, I wonder who will watch over my interests when I'm old and not able to take care of myself. Therefore, I hope I die while I'm still independent. Its about time we legalize euthanasia. When I do die, I pray that I'll be surrounded by friends I love (e.g. you, expect my call!) telling me that I did my best.

Your friend, Jimmy

Ivana Humpalot said...

When I was 11 I almost drowned in a swimming pool. Somehow I didn't. When I was 34 I almost died of a cocaine overdose. Somehow I didn't.

I'm 42. Sometimes I think that maybe I did die, and life since then has just been a big ole dream.