“Death from any cause can be a horrible experience, made worse if you have never prepared for it. To our ancestors (and not very distant ones) preparing for death was central to their lives, and I think that our society – and that of most other developed societies – is diminished by our denial of death. I think it’s healthy that my post caused more discussion of death.
We do seem to have reached a point where some behave as if death is not inevitable, and there is a sense that medical research and doctors are launched into a misguided attempt to defeat death. Immortality, all philosophers and writers agree, would be unbearable, and without death every birth would be a tragedy. For me, death gives life meaning, a narrative arc.
The art of living well and dying well are one. – Epicurus
Death is one of the attributes you were created with; death is part of you. Your life’s continual task is to build your death. – Montaigne
Are you ready to die? If not, then you might begin some preparation. Every… reader will die this century, and death is constantly beside us. Montaigne urged, “One should be ever booted and spurred and ready to depart.” Yet that has not been the attitude of the past 50 years, and modern medicine may even have had the hubris to suggest implicitly, if not explicitly, that it could defeat death. If death is seen as a failure rather than as an important part of life then individuals are diverted from preparing for it and medicine does not give the attention it should to helping people die a good death.” – Source.
The counter-productive behaviours of well intentioned people. Let’s take steps to be the best we can be here.
“We are taught that we are not good enough yet, that we must improve, and so… we always feel a little inadequate.
We must improve. We must read every self-improvement book. When we read a blog, we must try that method, because it will make us better. When we read someone else’s account of his achievements, his goal system, his entrepreneurial lifestyle, her yoga routine, her journaling method, her reading list, we must try it. We will always read what others are doing, in case it will help us get better. We will always try what others are doing, try every diet and every system, because it helped them get better, so maybe it will help us too. Soon, we will find the ultimate solutions, soon we will get there. No, that hasn’t happened yet, but maybe this year will be the year.
Or maybe it will never stop, until we die, and that’s a part of life — life is a constant striving for improvement, and we’d hate to ever stop wanting to improve, because that means we’re dead, right? Even if that means that as we die, we wonder if we could have been better, and our last thought is, “Am I adequate as a person?” Even if that means we are never happy with ourselves, at least we are striving to be happy with ourselves, right?
What if instead, we learned to be happy with ourselves?
What would happen?
Would we stop striving to improve? Would that be horrible, if we were just content and didn’t need to better ourselves every minute of every week? Would we be lazy slobs, or would we instead be happy, and in being happy do things that make us happy rather than make us better? And in being happy, perhaps we would show others how to be happy? And crazy as it might sound, maybe we’d start a little mini-revolution of happiness, so that people wouldn’t feel so inadequate, or need to spend every dime on products, or spend all their time on self-improvement.
A revolution of contentment.”
“Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
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