Painting 'The other forbidden fruit'. Cleopatra's dramatic 'departure', according to some accounts [and my interpretation].
We are in 2017 and, as far as I know, dying is still inevitable.
If you are a human (I know there are robots reading this - I don't discriminate) and relatively sane, you are conscious of it, and may well think: "when your number is up, it's up".
KNOWING is one thing - REFLECTING on it, is another
Growing up in Brazil I had a neighbor who would often say he 'wished to go' by stray bullet - a shockingly possible way of dying in some parts of the world!
I must have been no older than 14 when I first heard it, and it wasn't easy to process. I mean, of course no one can wish for a stray bullet, right?!!
Yes, of course not. What my elder bud meant was, he would consider himself lucky if his life ended with no pain, suffering, and no apprehensive awareness of it coming.
In some situations, PERCEPTION IS REALITY
In the developed and developing worlds, the chances of being diagnosed with a medical condition seem to increase if you are lucky enough to ascend to a more senior age, and more sober and less vague the concept becomes.
Why is this important? If not obvious yet, thinking of death makes one ponder about how one goes about life. How you go about filling the gaps between your philosophical beliefs (yes, we all have them) and how you act on your day-to-day life. Don't take my word for it - there are - perhaps too many - books written on the subject. The revealing truth being that you are more likely to regret things you haven't done than your actual deeds.
- 'Living every moment as if it was your last' is a cliche, I know - but shouldn't be. -
Barring suicide, euthanasia, and finding yourself in extremely dangerous situations (i.e. being the black dude in a police encounter in Orlando, or simply being a woman in the Republic of Congo... ), 'going' can really happen at a moment's notice - or, more to the point, no notice at all.
And while most people will do everything in their power to live, how you actually 'go' is not much of a choice.
Now, you may not be able to pick and choose the exact moment it all ends, but you can surely decide how you want to live the moments leading up to it - i.e. your entire life!
"I think, therefore I am", the famous Descartes maxim, got a new dressing in the pen of Martin Heidegger, when describing the human species, becoming: “I die, therefore I am”.
Thinking is optional...
'When was the last time you did something for the first time?' - one of my favorite quotes.
I imagine it must be an uber privilege to get to a place in life where you feel so happy and in peace with yourself that you can genuinely think you 'would be happy to go now'. I've met one such a person so far - and it was another 'revealing moment' to hear such a thing.
- We are all on the same boat -
But while you strive to achieve this high point in life, please also spare a thought for 'your neighbor'. We live in a world where, believe it or not, according to the W.H.O., Malnutrition kills more than... Asthma!
If you believe you have any reason at all to feel grateful, for anything - and if you are reading this you probably have, and understand how privileged you are - extend your hand with a random act of kindness. Or more.
Your personal end can come in a very surprising way, but you get to choose how it should be between 'now and then'.