Thursday, April 27, 2006

reanalyzing mortality

One of the hardest things to do is to keep a straight mind when you're face to face with adversity. There is an overwhelming need to remain positive, as if you're stuck in the bottom of a dark, damp well with nothing but undergrowth and weeds surrounding you, the only light coming from above as you try to reach out with your palms as if in prayer although you know that there is no way you can reach the top so all you can do is gasp for air, and at that moment you're left to wonder if you ought to be thankful there is air in the first place.

Positive thoughts. You have air to breathe, you are still alive. Doesn't that account for anything anymore? You feel thankful for that brief moment as the light, and the cool, still air seems almost too comforting that it sends a chill down your spine. Everything around you gets amplified, colors are more vivid, saturated, the air, fresher, and for the first time you would say that the air is crisp, fear and anxiety constantly increasing as adrenaline levels rise. While all of this is happening, all you can do is just be where you are, a helpless spectator.

Almost everybody fears their own mortality, and with unpredictability becoming more a part of our lives, life expectancy is and will always be decreasing. That's why pharmaceutical companies bank on our fears and start pushing drugs that can extend this deadline, a sort of insurance for the variety of diseases and sicknesses you can contract these days. But of course, like most people say, we never know when we'd go. This is even more apparent with global warming, causing unpredictable weather conditions, and alleviating the spread of diseases.

So I ask you this question, is it better to know when you'd die, or die from an unpredictable accident? That is if there were only these two options available. For example, if you found out on one hand that you contracted HIV, so technically with medication you'd realistically have about 10 years to live, or on the other hand get caught up in one of the many accidents on the highways with the increase of crazy drivers on our roads. The thing about these 2 instances of mortality is that they are both quite common nowadays.

I was asked that question yesterday. It was quite upsetting to know if you had a few years to live. You wouldn't be able to have kids, well technically you could, with medication, but you probably won't be around to see them grow up, which is unfair to them. Would you carry on with life knowing that the clock is ticking? Or would you do all the things you wanted to do but never had the time because you spent all of it at work? However, if you stopped working you wouldn't have any income, especially if you had to sustain your medication to keep you alive, therefore you'd have to work doubly hard, and for what? To remain in a system where you'd ultimately in the end, not be able to take that vacation you've always wanted?

Or would you say, this is my cue to leave, and do all the travelling you want to do, irregardless of what would happen to you simply because you know that eventually the disease will take over, and you'd die anyway. There is a social stigma to deal with being in the same place, doing the same thing that would provoke you to leave it all behind to be in a new place where nobody looks at you differently. But I think if you know you'd eventually die, you wouldn't be so paranoid about unexpected calamities. I would think you'd even think, at least I did all this. I guess for me I'd try to leave as much material as I can behind. Art. Photos, videos, furniture, or paintings, that is me. At least when I'm not around someone can pick up all the pieces and see what I've done, where I'd been. I don't think I want to be known as the guy who worked, even till death.

So, should we be afraid of our own mortality? Or make the most of our time here? Everyone would agree with the latter, but that's KIV'ed at the back of their heads as they carry on with work, simply because we have bills to pay, loans to settle, more money to earn. Until someone tells you you won't outlive your loan duration.