Thursday, 26 July 2018

642 Things - In Favour of Death

"Scientists announce they've discovered the secret to immortality. Write a petition letter to save the event of death."

Headstones in a graveyard - Dean Village, Edinburgh


     Without death, what is life? One cannot exist without the other.

     Without death, we will forget the value of life and start to take it for granted. Time will no longer have any meaning, so we won't make the most of it. We will become lethargic and melancholy, as we plod on into endlessness. We won't seek out our adventures and our loves and our joys, because we will have all the time in the world to do so. There will always be another tomorrow still to come, so we will stop making the most of today.

      We will stop cherishing people, when there is no longer any risk of losing them. We will forget the value of the people and other things we have. Often, we need to lose something in order to appreciate what it was when we had it. So when we cannot lose it, it begins to lack any meaning and importance.

      And what about in the more practical sense? If everyone is immortal, but the human race continues to reproduce, then we will destroy this planet even more than we already have. The earth cannot sustain an exponentially increasing population, so what happens when it hits capacity? Or will immortality not be universally available? How do we decide who get to live and who doesn't? Based on their achievements, their merits, their personality, or their wealth? Will it become a commodity, a luxury only available for purchase by the wealthiest of people? Some marker of success to strive for?

      Death gives us a reason to live, a reason greater than money or success or anything else. It forces us to seize the day and make the most of the little time that we have on this earth. It gives us a reason to go out and chase our dreams. To connect with people and search for love. To be ambitious and daring and adventurous. To take risks and seize opportunities. To feel and cherish and laugh and love and live.

     The world exists in opposites. We cannot understand and appreciate one thing, without having to endure the converse. Without sadness, there is no happiness. Without pain, there is no pleasure. Without loneliness, there is no connection. Without hate, there is no love. Without indifference, there is no emotion. So without death, there is no life.


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