When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.—Tecumseh
If you’ve been reading, though, have you noticed what we’ve done this week? Mass pandering. We’ve used provocative images to get faces to the page, then discussed totally unrelated subjects; in this case, the leading causes of death as published in the medical journal The Lancet last week. We’ve hit them all with a sense of fury and if you’ve missed one today would probably be a good time to go back and catch up. Some are rather humorous while others are just angry that we can be so very stupid. And when it comes to death, we truly are rather stupid about the whole thing.
Somewhere along the line, society has developed this ridiculous notion that immortality is something to be achieved; that if we didn’t have to worry about death then we could do more with our lives. As a result, we’ve come to loathe death, which we really don’t understand in the first place, and placed untold resources into attempting to avoid it rather than focusing on improving what we already have. Even if our lives did span hundreds of years, they would still be meaningless if we continued living them in the same way we do now. Prolonging the status quo is not a desirable condition.
- If no one is dying, then no one can be allowed to have babies. The planet’s population already exceeds sustainability.
- Our bodies would naturally continue to deteriorate and within a few very short years we would have a planet of geriatrics.
- Avoiding death doesn’t mean we avoid disease. Imagine having to live with the ravages of advanced-staged cancer forever.
- Prisons would become even more overcrowded than they currently are. With immortality comes a crime wave like the planet has never seen. Barbarism would quickly return.
- There would be no escaping the people you don’t like. If you’re not dying, they’re not dying either, and with all eternity in front of you this planet is going to get very small, very quickly.
Death has a very necessary purpose. We need that finality, that ending point, to help keep us on track, to allow us to regenerate society through new life, and to help us realize that if we’re going to do something that matters, we need to start doing it right now, not sometime in the unknown future. If you want to live a death-defying life then you need to be doing something other than overeating, smoking, and creating stress. Do things that actually make a positive difference, not only in your lives, but those of others.
Of course, that can only happen if you actually read the articles and not just look at the pictures.