Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mortality - getting old, fear of death

We're getting no younger by each day. And someday, we are all going to die. This is a fact of life.

But is growing old really a bad thing? Besides the obvious - deteriorating body and mind - there's something about old age that separates us from other living beings.

In nature, getting old means you're bound to be finished. Old leader of a pack will be kicked out - and perhaps killed - by the younger and fitter member of the pack. Old group of a herd will be ripe target for predators. Old trees will eventually wither off and slowly covered by younger plants.

Not only the whole universe, but even their own kind will conspire to put them out of the misery. It's rare then to see old animals in the wild, as put by one character in Fight Club: 'Animals aren't meant to get old'.

In our culture, the older people have those revered status to them. Sure we still retain the whole survival of the fittest idea, but we're much kinder to our elders. We treat them with respect. We listen and learn from their stories. We inherit their wisdom, and at times, their possession.

But with these come great responsibility: mainly to carry on their legacy for the future.

For compared to animals, the words and deeds of the elders - and even the dead - are forever to be carried by our generation, and the ones after. This is neither a good nor a bad thing - for while it might means we are burdened with past debts, it would also means our ideas and ideals, given their strong points and dedicated followers, could continue living while we're elsewhere fertilizing trees.

In a way, that's one way to achieve immortality. Bodies might be gone, but ideas and aspirations lives on. Yes, growing old is a drag, but it's something we'll have to put up with the passing of time. And by then, we know we have our responsibilities to let future generations carry on our ideals, or, if we're open minded, give them the freedom to shatter our terrible legacy and build a new one.

There is a balance between stability and volatility of course, and that's something you'd have to let the future generation decide.

And this whole idea doesn't have to apply to 'old' as in getting really old and getting senile and all. When I said old, I really mean when you're pass your age in whatever field it is - we can't keep on doing something forever.

Unmarked or marked, it's our final abode

Ah yes, death. Our inevitable end - or the start, as some would believe.

Everyone knows they will die someday, but let's be honest. Most of us have in our own mind dying in our deathbed at an old age, don't we? We always think that life would give us the chance for us to prepare for our ultimate end - always forgetting that it could very well end the next moment by the most unlikely trigger.

How can we truly say we're ready for death then? In truth, we're not. How can we arrive there, with no idea of what to comes next?

Truly I can't understand those who would no sooner take their life away. What things goes in their mind to bring them to the rash decision - do they not fear of what is to come after death? When given the choice to live or to die, why would they choose the latter?

Death is something we can't avoid. And I'm still not sure if I'll ever be ready for it.

1 comment:

  1. This is a nice reminder. Oh well, just do your best in life so you won't regret it later on your deathbed.

    Live your life to the fullest.