Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A great day to die!?

Have you ever thought of it? We all have our own preferences in respect of the way we die. But do we have a particular day in mind?

The perfect dying day

I came to this question when I was looking at a picture of Abbe Pierre, died age 94, on a billboard, with a crowd passing it. First of all: what counts is the way you live, I thought. That will largely determine the way, and most likely also the day you die. Abbe Pierre has died a loved, and probably highly lovable man. That is a good measure, so it seems.

You can also think of words like successful, talented, bright, kind etcetera, but love sums it all up. How could you ever be successful without being wanted, which is equivalent to being nice? And let’s exclude success that can only be attributed to greed and deceit.

So really, love is the key to the day you die. And it is the love you give, not the love you receive, even though in most cases they are always equivalent. But it is the love you give that counts. And love is what you give to the benefit of something or someone dear to you.

So the first benefit you give will be a benefit to your family: that they do not have the burden of your aging process.

The second benefit is one to society: that your death will not cost too much - particularly in the (last) period of your life - because you so much wish to extend it.

The third and perhaps last benefit that comes up in me is the benefit to yourself: not to suffer unduly when you are dying.

OK so this settles the context of a good death. All of it, so I would think, leads to a firm decision to be made by yourself as to the way you live and the day you die. It is a matter of common sense.

Thus, we get to the ideal day. It must be one without pain, with a lot of sunshine and love all over. It must be the day of fullfilment, all purpose done. This is not necesssarily the day of your retirement. Retired people still are of great value to society. The entire civilization of mankind is based on the caution, wisdom and courage of people of considerable age.

So, live a good long life. Help yourself and thereby help others. Go for a long term target with a reasonably obtainable fullfilment. Don’t dream your life away. And bow graciously for the gift of life at the right time, and take your leave.


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1:44 PM  
Blogger Theo E. Korthals Altes said...

Thank you!

2:38 PM  
Blogger lyn said...

well Theo, you summed it up all nicely and I absolutely agree, but for one thing and that is that one need not to go through self-sacrifice.. I used to think so, but realized along the way that that is not necessary. If you know who and what you are and love yourself, then all the love you give to others will be unconditional, there will not be the feeling of self-sacrifice because you are ok with what you give, it feels natural and good and even gives pleasure..
I agree to the fact that a lot of young people, though in my opinion it is more the between the agegroup of 35 and 45, are losing themselves and therefore forget to live, they are all focussed on their goal, whatever it is and forget that the way to that goal is more important than reaching that goal.. the younger agegroup, say 18 to 35 is more aware of what goes on in the world and in their lives, at least the ones I know, they are very intent on living life to the fullest and seem to realize that every day is one to be treasured, they live in the moment of NOW, not in the past or the future..

Thanks for writing yet another interesting article.. since my godfather passed on yesterday, my thoughts were exactly on the spot!

Love and light to you,

3:08 AM  
Blogger Margreet said...

One can only give love, if one is able to receive love. Well, that's my philosophy.

Nice Blog Theo!

6:55 AM  

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