Everyday I read the usual blogs and n news sites. RAW STORY and Progressive Review and Alternet and Naked Capitalism and on an on. And nearly every day there is at least one story or OPED or some such that explains – sometimes in great detail – how the human race is doomed if we don’t DO SOMETHING about global warming, water, pollution, tobacco use, meat eating, nuclear energy, LBGT issues and so forth.
As if conquering these thing will bring about some kind of Utopian existence and not conquering them will result in horrors too gross to imagine.
We all live our lives as though we will live forever. Or simply pass away or expire like a magazine subscription – to quote George Carlin. That by running ourselves ragged or into the ground, eating ONLY “natural foods” or abstaining from any one of a number of “bad things” will somehow guarantee a very long life free of pain and misery. And death will come as a pleasant reprieve. Like those movies where grandpa or grandma lies peacefully in their bed and drifts off.
Yet we seem to be – at least a good number of us seem to be – very OK with ending someone else’s life providing the circumstances surrounding it and the reasons for ending their lives can be justified and rationalized. Killing is NOT OK except when it is. Then there are those who subscribe to religions that teach that life goes on after life has ended, for which there is absolutely no evidence what so ever. Not only that – this appears top be an exclusive club where only particular people are allowed in. For the rest there is nothing or eternal misery. How very strange since every creature on this planet dies.
I am all for any of the aforementioned goals stated above. However this will only delay the inevitable if we keep populating the planet with more and more people. I am all for improvements in health care so long as they improve the quality of life and not just delay or prolong the end.
We can never be sure of how our lives will unfold and most certainly never be sure or guaranteed how they will end or when. In fact as I pointed out in a diary on another blog many years ago, we cannot imagine it as we have no point of reference. When we try we always still exist in the third person. Watching ourselves. And unless our lives are put to an end by some cataclysmic event or instantly, the process and time preceding death is always one of pain and misery. That is why one generally spends this time – hours, days, weeks etc. – drugged up either in a hospital or hospice or nursing home. This is why I find the statement “He/She died before their time” so confusing. How does one know this? Did they come with an expiration date ? A life time warranty?
Yet we live our lives like this will not happen or try to prevent it somehow. Focusing our energies on obtaining possessions or position or power or all three. Using and abusing others far to often to accomplish this. Oh and ignoring or denying our own fallibility and mortality.
I read about a woman with breast cancer that decided to opt out of the cancer treatment because it would have resulted in a torturous end since it was terminal and a man who purposely died of his third heart attack, telling his wife NOT to call 911 and just let it happen. We spend inordinate amounts of time, energy and money to keep people alive even though we wind up drugging them to remove any suffering involved in doing so.
We now can kill anyone we want by remote control all the while living in terror that they might be able to return the favor. We consume chicken nuggets that have little – if any – chicken in them and hamburgers with little if any beef all the while complaining about second hand smoke and ignoring that our food likely has unkillable Salmonella.
We just got through with a battle for who is going to get health care or not and who is going to pay for it. Even though if you are unfortunate enough to become hospitalized and have to spend any time at all in there, the likely hood of you dieing from some hospital bacteria increases exponentially. Since nearly all of our hospitals are contaminated with bacteria now for which there really is no effective antibiotic. The CDC has even stated we need to prepare for not having any antibiotics that work. This makes cancer and other disease treatments problematical at best, since the treatments significantly lower ones defenses.
I could go on and on about ocean pollution and radiation from Fukushima Daiichi – which has even fallen off the radar of the progressive new sites – but you get the picture.
This long harangue does have a point. We – each and every one of us – are here for a very short time. We each have exactly one shot at this – at life. No more. The end is almost never pretty or nice. And contrary to popular belief, has no real point or purpose, however this may damage our precious little egos.
Is there some reason why we simply cannot each enjoy being alive and living the way we desire and help others to do so?
“Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.” D.C. Lawrence