The Half-Life Epiphany
Let me explain why the stories outlined below make me think about a topic that might at first not be obvious.
Yesterday’s newspaper told me that asthma is now the most common chronic disease in childhood. Together with increasing numbers of babies surviving a premature birth, childhood asthma is set to become a major problem. On the opposite page I read about Syrian refugees, women, children, elderly, who are trying to escape a life of suffering. Another article right next to it talks about a 21 year old Syrian soldier who got shot and lies in hospital with a shattered leg.
May I begin with the thesis that prolonging life at all circumstances, defying our natural tendency to die at some point or another, is once again our priority, despite the fact that life is what it has always been and always will be: a cyclic event of living and dying that only the universe can bear witness to, if only it was able to give us the reassurance we crave.
“Half-life is used to describe a quantity undergoing exponential decay, and is constant over the lifetime of the decaying quantity.” (Wikipedia)
Our population is growing fast, very fast (watch this if you want to get an idea of it). At some point we will run out of space. Maybe by then we will be going “outa space”. A thought occurred that if you survive your birth and other possible illnesses during your life you stand a good chance to be shot or encounter a similar danger to your life at another point (every watched “Final Destination”?). And the truth is that we could encounter the other side at any point in our life. For some it takes longer, others get there earlier. We won’t know. And we shouldn’t, because we would be spending all of our life dreading that one unavoidable point at the end of our life instead of simply living it.
To come to the point, I do not mean to be pessimistic and all doom and gloom. Quite to the contrary, I believe that if we were to open our eyes fully and learn from early on about the significance of life and death, as a joint responsibility of our existence, that we will have a much more comprehensive understanding of our purpose in life. We might even be living our life much more responsibly, valuing each other, acknowledging death when it knocks on the door, grief deeply instead of suppressing our sadness but also appreciate the impact those around us have on us together with our responsibility towards our planet.
But we don’t talk about death. We simply close our eyes when it comes to this fundamental, essential, obvious part of our life cycle. But the thing is, the more we close our eyes to it the less we are able to see ourselves, our future, our unique purpose in life. We will spend our whole life living in semi-darkness, denying such a vital part of ourselves access to reality. A reality that we are living every day of our life. Why close your eyes to it?
Don’t just live in half-light believing that someone with a defibrillator will surely come running when your heart gives up, because the truth is that your heart simply gives up because it can’t stand the twilight of your existence anymore. It was never allowed to live fully, enjoy the sunshine, good honest food free from chemicals and hidden fats, dancing in the rain, denied to feel emotions to the full, to discover the world without fear or stress and to have a proper good nights sleep. It yearns to be free, it yearns for happiness. That’s why it is giving up on your half-lived existence.
These words are not meant to offend anyone, nor are they true for everyone who might read this. But in essence I hope they will wake you up from your half-life state and make you want to live your life to the full. Right here and now.
Because it is worth it! 😉