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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Life or Death

Listen to the song on the sidebar. What does it talk about? Nothing but the positive contribution that death makes on life. We always view death to be something hurtful, painful, that which makes us nothing but a dead body from a once living being. Maybe, there is something that we can learn from death. Something that will make our lives worth living.

I am young, have never been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and have never had a close encounter with death. I believe that I have at least another 50-60 years to live in this world and yet, when I look at that number, it almost feels like time will fly by. I have already lived 1/3 of my life and I have no idea where they went!

People usually fear the end of their lives. What I fear is not living life completely before I die. What is living life completely to you? Buying your own house, earning a 6-figure salary, owning a Mercedes Benz, wearing only branded clothes, or mingling in a high-profile social circle? Is it being able to travel around the world, eating exotic foods from different countries, or going dancing, bungee jumping, skydiving? Or is it having a huge family, becoming a parent, and living a life full of love and kindness?

As I hear about the bomb blasts, violence, terror, around the world, I begin to realize more each day that life is uncertain. Though common sense and family history tells me that I will live to die very late, I might also live today to die tomorrow. I do not care if its a painful death. I do not care if its an early death. I do not care if its a lonely death. But I do care if its a death after having lived life the way I want to.

So today I hope and pray that I do not begin to take precious time for granted, do not leave things I can do today until tomorrow, begin appreciating life's little blessings more and more everyday, and live today like there is no tomorrow.

This was a class assignment, a journal I wrote that wanted us to talk about "death anxiety".
Sorry folks, been tied up with some stuff. Will come around to your blogs in a few days. Will also respond to my commentors in the previous post soon. Take care!

91 Words of Wisdom:

Pavi!!!! said...

Fingers crossed for all ur dreams to get fulfilled before ur last breath n for u to livelife ur style all the way thru'.
yes ur right...eventually thats wat matters.

But a painful death..no i dont want tht. i want to know that im gonna die 5 days before my death..so i can write letters to loved ones..n make calls n say my last goodbye n then die in my slumber...kaash...

Keshi said...

Great post, great message!

The other day I heard a friend say

'Keshi my life is boring..Im 32, not married and I dun even hv my own house...my life sucks and I think I will die lonely and poor'


I was pretty annoyed by what she said, I went silent. If thats what she sees LIFE as, I pity her.



**People usually fear the end of their lives. What I fear is not living life completely before I die.


Same here. Its not in my money, house, car, clothes, marital status or my career where my LIFE is. It's in HOW I live it.



**What is living life completely to you?

Knowing that TODAY is all I've got and LIVING it to the max.

I hv no regrets whatsoever..if I die tmrw, I'd die happy. I know that for sure. I may not hv had it all, but I did my best and thats all that matters.


Keshi.

Ankur said...

Life is precious, and we all are afraid of death, knowingly or unknowingly!! :)
For me, i am always afraid of the death of loved ones... touchwood!!

Agree to ur point also that i dont want to die coz i have yet to achieve, a lot to do!!
i want to still live for my family, coz i yet have so many assignments to do!!

I want to be in the 2nd part, a family and bunch of friends to enjoy with, coz half of the first is achieved!!

wats more important if u ask me, money or happiness, i wud go with happiness... thats wat my dad has taught me, thali mai jo aa jaaye kha lo, aur jitni chaddar hai, utni hi odho!! :)

Wish that all ur dreams, come true before u die... u achieve wat u want to and u r here for!!
Amen! :)

and dontya worry, we will wait for ur replies!! :)
take ur time, good luck! :)

Cheers!!!

AmitL said...

Hi,Sol..that's quite a touching post,reflecting the shock most of us felt on reading/hearing about the bombs.And,yes,it does make me wonder too,about the time we have on earth,and,how less I appreciate it.

What is living life completely?That's a toughie,for sure.I've so many hopes and aspirations,too..but,still,I can't complain that till date,whatever has happened has not been good.:)So,I'd say,the best way to live life to the fullest,is to look at each day with an enthusiastic eye,and,take things in my stride,good or bad,without getting too bugged about it.Makes sense?

lukkydivz said...

I dont want a painful death but yes there are a plenty of things i wanna do before i die!

Hiren said...

awesome post ... one of your bests ... i did put up a similar post long long time back .... with emphasis on "Today is the last day of some of your life...” ... and you came up with this as an impromptu class assignment ... kudos !!!

The only impediment here is to know what exactly you want to do in your life which will satiate the feeling of living it completely...

The recent flurry of terror attacks in the past few years had made life cheaper than even a roadside candy bar ... am writing something on this will put that up positively by this weekend ...

rashmi said...

just yesterday during an office meeting the talk drifted to the blasts and we realised how unpredictable life is ....like when we avail of a home loan for a 20 year period, we assume that we shall atleast live for another 20 years. we naver realise that we might not live those 20 years...

we plan our lives accordingly... we think that we shall slog for 25-30 years at our jobs, get married, have kids, marry them off and have happy a happy retired life...we never assume that we might not live that period...

1/3rd of my life is also over and i dont know where this has gone. when i was 15, i thought 25 is still sooo far away and i shall achieve so many things by that time. 25 has come gone and ive not achieved an ounce of what i wanted...

yes i still have to achieve many things in life, nothing material, but things like travelling to as many destinations that i can manage...wish i live to do that and also that im am healthy enought for it...

Karthik S said...

Its good to think about death. We will realise the value of life. I just want to be happy and make other happy as possible as i can.
At the end I dont want to regret for anything. Good one!!!

Ash said...

What is living life completely to you?

Living an authentic life, in alignment with my core beliefs and most importantly -- not giving a damn about what others think!

Ria said...

Very well written Sol!we all fear that....i wanted to watch a movie this weekend. But the no. of live bombs tht hav been discovered in Gujarat are makin me wonder if its a good idea to go to a multiplex and watch a movie! I never thought i wud hav to think twice b4 doin such usual activities....but thts life, unpredictable as ever!

vishesh said...

hmm....actually death is not the problem here....but what is all this anyway? is my question?

rayshma said...

all the best, gurl. really!
i hope you can live your life your way before calling it a day. really.

that's all i want too, actually. and sometimes, i feel i'm not doing anything abt it.

jitendra said...

i will repeat one thing that i have quoted many times. "all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose."

ceedy said...

Somehow I beleive we get what we are capable to handle...and when we wont be death will take us to a new joy ride....

Lena said...

that is what matters... to live the way that all the dreams get fulfilled and nothing would be regretted on the death bed.
I dont know if it happens but i am doing my best for this :)

Vinz aka Vinu aka Vinayak said...

I was never afraid of my death, be it when i drive / ride rash..get into something adventurous..And so far i have lived life the way i want...

but recent tragedies in my family(including my father and brother) had made me realize one thing..More than to ourselves, our life is precious to lot more people..The pain which the living people suffer is indescribable...

So, i live life to the fullest, only to make my near and dear ones keep smiling..and thereby myself..

wonderful post Sol..

Stupidosaur said...

I was born without really caring to.
I live just for the heck of it.
I'll die when the complex set of chemical reactions that I am are no longer self-sustainable due to sudden accidental interruprtion, or gradual decline by increase of their disorder.

heck at this point I really dont know and don't care about this 'life' and 'death' thingie.
Yes once I knew.
Once I cared.
Though the two did not necessarily coincide.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Good post,or should I say assignment! :)

Death is a great teacher,it does not do to be afraid of it and shudder at the thought.'Cause someday,we all have to embrace it,rather it will embrace us.

We should treasure this life and live every moment to the max.That's all that we can do for ourselves,and for our loved one.

Sam said...

Nice thoughts!!
In my book, it really matters to me to achieve what I set out to do.. the day I stop aspiring and loving.. I want to die!!
As such, when asked my someone, i said if single, by 40, because by then i would have achieved all that I want to.. and if married, just a moment longer than my partner, of course with no responsibilities burdening my shoulders after her departure!!

Alok said...

Your post was thought provoking and certainly puts the weight on someone the way they should look at the life. I do note a point when you said – “live today like there is no tomorrow”. But unfortunately ‘tomorrow never dies’ and we see today is too small to compare with it, that’s where most of the people caught with the feeling they are not living there life.

Somehow somewhere they are stuck and see the tomorrow as the today, or maybe the today is overlooked too much. I don’t know maybe it’s just the ray of hopes which drags everything out though its blur image and most of them try to make it as clear as the crystal without actually knowing the image can turned out to be something different.

Again, I guess it’s not so difficult to learn to live the life the way someone want, I hope that doesn’t point to the selfish monster setting inside almost every one of us… With that note I have a different believe - “Live your life as if you are never going to die and if you are then die for the things you live”…

WOops! I can go on writing about it … I should stop here knowing it's a ‘comment’;)

P.S : An extended version of this will be published on my blog, you can check it anytime if you want, there after…

Jack said...

Solitaire,

I navigated from your other site and feel I had missed something earlier.

Women are bad drivers. I agree with you that gender bias has to stop now. But I also feel that it may be partially possible as women would also like to be treated as women. Equality on most of the spheres is what we all should look for and strive to achieve.

Life or Death. We surely need to utilise our limited time in a way to set our goals and honestly work to reach those. What we do finally achieve may not be full but at least we can be content that we did work for it honestly. Peace of mind is far more important than any of the materialistic things.

Have you visited me at

o3.indiatimes.com/niceguy251

I would request you to read specially Strenght of family posted in April 2008 and Happiness is in your hands posted in Dec 2007.

Take care

Phantom - The Ghost said...

Solitaire, this is my first visit to your "psychobabble"...i wanted to read as a curiosity...but then i was asked for my userid and password to view your psychobabble and woes of a psychology.....

then now you have made it free for all to read ....why this change, i wonder...i think...

i did not want to read both these...but somehow...today i read this blog...dont know why?

"curiosity wants one to explore, once its known, the charm is lost"...

if these blogs were meant for selective reading and viewing, i still would have felt eager to read them, but then, they are just meant for all...

nice blog...God bless you :)

seems i too have a great personality disorder :) :) :) ha ha ha ....

Vinay said...

happy friendship day solitaire...!! :)

Compassion Unlimitted said...

My son sent this thru sms long time back,I preserve it.: death is not the greatest loss in life.the greatest loss is what dies inside us while we are alive...Live every moment
tc
cu

Alok said...

:)

Great post.

The spirit this post shares is what I wrote about in this story.

I found myself smiling with recognition as your post reminded me of my story in its entirety!

Keep alive!

Shikha said...

Living life completely?To do everything you want to do,no matter waht others say or how stupid it may sound..and then die with no regrets on not having done anything or said anything..

Satish Bolla said...

u lived 1/3 of ur life!!! i jus finished 1/4 of it. way to go for me.

living life for me is to help others who r in need n at the same time fulfilling my wishes for a world travel. that's all.

Vandita said...

my to do before i die list is ever growing !!
lovely post sol :)

Solitaire said...

@ Pavi,

Thank you! You want to know about your death 5 days in advance!!? I think maybe once older, you should just keep letters ready for people cos we never know when these things happen!

Solitaire said...

@ Keshi,

That's how I wish everyone would view life. Have no regrets about the past, be happy with TODAY, and not be afraid to die tomorrow. Sigh!

Solitaire said...

@ Ankur,

You said happiness is more important than money for you. But what about those who equate money with happiness?

Solitaire said...

@ AmitL,

Makes a lot of sense actually! :)

Why do you say what has happened is not good? Maybe it is. Maybe you can look at it in a different way. Glad you like looking at each new day enthusiastically.

Solitaire said...

@ Lukky,

Like what?

Solitaire said...

@ Hiren,

Since man is hardly satisfied, it may be quite hard to reach that point where we are "ready to die" but nevertheless, we we can still aim for it!

Thank you!!

Solitaire said...

@ Satish,

You are going to live to be a 100???????? WOW!

Point is, we never know. I could have already lived 99% of my life without knowing it. Are you happy with what you have today if you were to die tomorrow?

Solitaire said...

@ Vandita,

Shorten it! We never know when we will die.

Solitaire said...

@ Shikha,

Perfecto!

Solitaire said...

@ Alok,

Thanks!! Will keep alive in spirit if nothing else!!

Solitaire said...

@ CU,

And that is so right!!

Solitaire said...

@ Vinay,

thanks! Sorry am so late. Hope you had a great day!

Solitaire said...

@ Phantom,

What are you talking about? Psychobabble is my baby. It was never locked. It was free for all, open to all. Even when it was dormant. And you are welcome to read whatever you want to or whatever you DO NOT want to. And yes, I too think you have a personality disorder.

Solitaire said...

@ Jack,

Thanks! I will surely visit your blog.

What do you mean when you say, "women like to be treated as women"? Of course they do! Wouldn't men like to be treated as men and no other gender?

Solitaire said...

@ Alok,

Haha! Thanks for the long comment which was equally thought provoking (and confusing). If we were to live like we are never going to die, wouldn't we only procrastinate, postpone things, and laze around? I know I would!!

Solitaire said...

@ Sam,

Why do priorities change after marriage or before marriage? And if you are married and 40, would you not have achieved all that you want to?

Solitaire said...

@ Sameera,

Death is a great teacher!! It teaches us not to take life for granted and to make the most of it. :)

Alok said...

“Live like we are never going to die” – merely doesn’t mean you have never ending time on your hand or you own the time, but whatever you do (in your life).

Solitaire said...

@ Stupid,

Subconsciously, they did co-incide, maybe. Well if you live for the heck of doing so, you probably do not fear death either. Its good if it remains that way.

Solitaire said...

@ Vinu,

Did you lose your brother and father to death? Sorry to hear about the tragedies in your life. It is true that we should live such that it does not harm others. Nevertheless, death is inevitable and so is the sorrow that others will go through when they lose us.

Solitaire said...

@ Lena,

Good luck!!! I hope it does.

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Yes but that is obstacles that you are referring to. What about achievements?

Solitaire said...

@ Rayshma,

Thanks!! Do we really have to do something about it? Maybe it will come to us when the need and urge is super strong!

Solitaire said...

@ Vishesh,

What is what? Death is never a problem. It is the way we view it that is a problem.

Solitaire said...

@ Jitendra,

Very well said! I wish we remembered that all the time!

Ankur said...

Interesting question u have asked me here... You really want me to answer for others, is it?
ok... will give it a try!! :)

Those who equate money with happiness, i think are living in the buggest myth of the life... let me begin by sayin that surely money is a very important thing to have, and sometimes we tend to think we can buy happiness with money, which may be true for buyin ballons or chocolates for a kid, but can we buy love for someone, or leave that, can we really buy a life from it!!!

Wats happiness... its a feeling of extreme joy, where one doesnt think of anything else and the emotions make him feel all good, inside, can money give that feeling... n if yes, for how long, and the question is.. is it for real?

Can the same amount of happiness come from getting the news of becoming a parent and winning some lacs of rupees in some show?
I think not... and for those who do think so, we call them by names.. isnt! :)

Poor people do become happy... small things can bring happiness too!! :)

Happiness is something which comes irrespective of the fact of havin money or not!! It comes from very within... the feeling of being happy is something which cant be expressed in words. Its emotions, something which can never be equated with money...

Lets try this out...

if u have a hundred thousand, how happy will u be?
wat if u have a million?
wat if u have 10 million?

and wat abt a billion?
wat abt 10 billion???
and how abt 100??

this is not the happiness u r looking for, coz if we call it this way, then we never be happy, coz we always aspire for more n more, and it is nothing but greed!!

I dont think i wud be ever be able to answer ur question Sol, coz the answer lies, "very within..."

Cheers!!!

ceedy said...

Amn not only referring to obstacles per se...

anything good, bad or ugly...there is a personal limit to which one can handle it...once we go thru all these spheres of life...we are done...cant wait for it as its not in our hands

Solitaire said...

@ Ria,

Yes things that we never imagined may happen at any point. I do have a post on how we plan things but that's all we can do. Whether or not things work according to our plans is not in our hands.

Solitaire said...

@ Rashmi,

Time does fly. I have no idea where 1/3rd of my life went by. I did achieve a lot of what I wanted to and yet, I feel like this is not enough. I suspect the same will happen after another 20 years! Travelling too needs a lot of money. However, health is wealth.

Solitaire said...

@ Ash,

You may not care about what others' values are but what if your values conflict with your loved ones? Would you still go ahead and live your life accordingly causing yourself or them misery?

This has been triggered by Vinu's comment.

Solitaire said...

@ Karthik,

Thanks!! No regrets on our death bed would be the ideal death!

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

Cannot wait for what?

Solitaire said...

@ Ankur,

But you just did answer the question brilliantly!! I hope that those who do equate money with happiness (but do not really admit it) read your comment!

ceedy said...

death

ceedy said...

@ankur and solitaire

Ankur - I agree with what you have said here...that
*the answer lies, "very within..."* which is one side of the spectrum where happiness is equated with greed...

just a thought...

what about on the other side of the spectrum...where someones happiness is related to the well being of their kith and kin...but due to lack of money (a society dictated form of existence) is not able to provide for them....like getting primary health care, basic necessities of life...

if people in such a situtation think "oh if we had little more money than we could do X Yand Z things to see that everyone around in their close sphere is happy"

will that be wrong?

not arguing just posing an alternative scenario...

AmitL said...

BTW,Sol..do see the correction to my current post,based on your 'feedback'..and,my answer to your comment,too!!..*grins*

Ankur said...

@Ceedy

bhai, a very relevant question, but is money buyin happiness there? or is it buyin the basic necessities of life?

See how a rikshaw wala earns some 150 rs per day and how he spent that over desi daru rather than giving all that to his family, isnt?

I dont disagree that money is important, as i said in my last comment too. But, will money can be equated to happiness everytime... :)

and second, when i said buyin a baloon or buyin a chocolate, i also wanna say, providing him doctor, food to eat...

i think u wanna say, that an empty stomach can never be happy, agree truly, but then how much we both earn enugh to fill our stomach with anything we want... how many times we ourselves feel happy with that!! :)

loved ur question though... coz u make me think more! :D
Cheers!!

Ankur said...

@Sol

thnx! :)

Satish Bolla said...

@solitaire
ya, i would love to live a 100 years. u know my passion for that coveted number, right?

well, am content with what i have now. more than happy to b frank. what els do i want other than loving parents, caring friends, refreshing job. all i miss is her but it's ok.

marvin the paranoid android said...

death has always been like a beautiful cocktail to me... tantalising, inviting but yet forbidden... but i guess it does indeed have a lot to teach us ungrateful people...
btw there was a series of movies called saw parts 1-4 which was somewhat on similar lines... nice watch for those who do not mind a bit of blood and gore...

Romila said...

How true and nicely put too. We worry about death but do not make enough effort to make it live it up and accomplish all our hearts' desire.

Stupidosaur said...

Haha coincide 'subconciously'!

Favourite word of psychologists?

Q :When a person say "It is not so" and a psychologist wants to say "It is so!" with conviction, with professional weight, without offending or seeming to contradict the person, how does he/she do so?

A: Say "It is so", and add 'subconciously' to it ;)

Candid Confessions said...

Yes, not having done all that I wanted to do and its realization on my death bed is what I fear the most! Death and knowing of its fatality was a recent dawning on me. Thanks to Randy Pausch. R.I.P.!
http://forallthatisundone.wordpress.com/

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Solitaire,
The goals in life that you mentioned are fine. They are worth striving for. But there is a higher purpose in life than to seek our highest personal good, and that is, to be an instrument of God for the furtherance of His kingdom and grace in this world. In other words, that we become a channel of God's blessings and we fill the world with love our whole life through. Thanks for your post. God bless.

Suma said...

i believ in living life fully...'cos everything is unpredictable...i have a list where i keep adding things that i want to do...

but death is painful and sad especially when it takes away people who have been with you always...

Southpaw unplugged said...

Hv seen death very closely on many occasions, escaped a many times, the only thing comes before and after that is...wow...i m alive!

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy,

But no one waits for death that actively unless they are in physical pain or emotional distress and look at death as liberating.

Solitaire said...

@ Ceedy and Ankur,

I agree with Ankur that money cannot be equated with happiness all the time. Money can buy things that can make you happy but not necessarily all the time. When Ceedy brings up the example of someone falling ill and needing money for treatment, the adage, "HEALTH IS WEALTH" comes to mind. Sometimes even all that money cannot save the person and therefore, though cash flowed, no happiness came. So there are no guarantees.

Solitaire said...

@ Amit,

I did!

Solitaire said...

@ Southpaw,

So have you started taking life more seriously now?

Solitaire said...

@ Suma,

Others' death does make us sad. But what do you think about your own death?

Solitaire said...

@ Mel,

True. But what about atheists who do not believe in God?

Solitaire said...

@ Candid,

Hope this realization remains for a long time allowing you to make major life changes.

Solitaire said...

@ Stupid,

There is truth to the subconscious mind, don't you think?

Solitaire said...

@ Romila,

Yeah. Maybe because we think there is a lot of time ahead of us before we die?

Solitaire said...

@ Satish,

So god forbid, if you die tomorrow, you will die a happy man. Right?

Solitaire said...

@ Marvin,

You find death glamorous? Why? Is it because it is liberating?

SAW series are a no-no for me.

Southpaw unplugged said...

I always took life seriously and will keep on taking it that way as long as i m lucky.

Phantom - The Ghost said...

ha ha ha...give a name to my personality disorder.......thanks da :) ... felt nice

ceedy said...

@solitaire

yes in the context of my last comment - you are right about death...but I guess in the context of the post...I was trying to say it is futile to even fear the end...as it is simply not in our hands...

@ankur and solitaire

here again...we all are reiterating the same thing...money is not the means to measure happiness...

but the essence of what I was trying to say is not geared towrds the end result of what one does or does not do...or how money can/cannot change...

I was simply asking would you consider someone in such a situation wrong - if he is always talking about having some more money - to better his life say 5%...as opposed to someone who already has 100% but is simply greedy....

Satish Bolla said...

@solitaire
u r bang on the point.

Phantom - The Ghost said...

hey Soul,
if you had read my earlier comments, i told you, when i clicked on the psychobable or woes of ....i was asked for username and password...after entering the UN and PW...then i used to get message "u are not in the invited......blah blah blah..."...now see my point...

Robert said...

hey solitaire- wow alot of comments here I hope you see this. My father died when he was only 30 and i was8 i have had a fear of death taking me before i was ready ever since and though over the years developed a way to handle it it has hung in the shdows I seek to live life to its fullest but i know alot of times i also feel; the tension of the fear pulling at me. Thank you for sharing your thoughs here wish you had email lots of questions i would love to ask you :)