Reader comment on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's passage ...
On Nov 16, 2009 Naumadd wrote:|
I've always rejected and will always reject the idea that life acquires its value or acquires more value because it comes to an end. This is like saying the sports car is valuable because it runs out of gas, breaks down, rusts and whithers away. No. The sports car is valuable for what it is and can do rather for the fact it will at some point lose that existence and abilities.
Sunsets are wonderful not because they end because they ARE sunsets and affect us in a particular way damned near every time we see one. We react to flowers because of what they ARE rather than the fact they whither. The apple is sweet because it IS sweet and delicious, NOT because it will sour and rot. The same is true of a human being and of anything that's living - we are valuable or acquire value because of what we ARE and what we can DO, or say or may do or say in the future. If our value or the value of life was derived from the fact of death, it would stand to reason we could increase our own value or the value of another simply by accelerating toward that moment of death. A healthy man would be nowhere near as valuable as the man bleeding profusely. The healthy woman nowhere near as valuable as she dying of cancer.
Focus on death as the root of value, in fact, decreases life's value rather than the reverse. Sure, knowing that death is or is almost a certainty establishes a timeline for planning and or deciding what can and cannot be fit into that period of time (roughly 100 years or less), but the timeline itself doesn't give life its value. It is the specific experiences of life, the explorations and discoveries, the knowledges and understandings and wisdoms acquired, the talents, the skills, the insights, the pleasures, the chances to create something that has never existed before - THESE are the values in life, these are the wonders, the awe, the miracles that make life such an incredible adventure EVEN if life has no end and, it is my belief, that longer life equates to MORE value than less. After all, additional time to live means additional experiences, additional opportunity to live what has no already been lived.