Sunday, June 4, 2017


A friend has lived many decades.  She has met her goals and had a full life.  What is the point of living longer?, she asks.


This is not a small matter and it is one that I am very confident is going to emerge more and more emphatically over the years.  I have read that some people in Silicon Valley want to make death optional.  But I also hear about friends with this ailment or that and I hear that medical treatments and other tools are limited in giving them a high quality of life or even a significant extension of years.


As with anything else, one's personal take on duties, activities and pleasures of life matter fundamentally.  


I personally find it useful, so far, to maintain a certain base of stubbornness.  I don't see why I should assist Death in any way.  If it wants me, let it find and conquer me.  It may not be as easy to do as it looks.


Philosophically,I must ask: Do we have to have a "point" to live?  Normally, when we ask "What is your point?" , we mean something like What is your message?  What are you trying to say?  I think I can hold to the view that since my daddy's bit met my mommy's bit deep inside her, a major point of living was living.  The keeping-on-keeping-on kind of thing.  You can probably see how that suggest a sort of stubbornness to me.


There are many other aspects to the decision to purposely live or purposely die.  One point that comes to my mind is setting an example.  The way I die may well set an example, explicit or implicit, that affects how others, known or unknown, now or decades from now, live and not live their lives.  When times get tough or frightening, as they have a way of doing from time to time, I don't want my example to bias others toward ending things prematurely.


I enjoy trying to stay alert to what is happening to me.  I enjoy trying to put it all in perspective. I find a great deal happens to me continuously.  Nearly all of it is miraculous in the sense that I fully understand very little of it but events are not only surprising and engaging, but fun, too.  One of fundamental things about death is that it is irreversible.  So, basically, once I am gone, I am totally gone.  I can't return for my keys, which I won't be needing any more anyhow.


I have no quarrel with anyone who decides it is time to leave.  I suspect one way of leaving or another is going to gain in popularity and usage.  But the ancients were no dummies and their caution about early exits seems still relevant.


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