One day, while walking on the highway by where I live, I came across a most peculiar thing: a young hawk, with a leg that was somehow ran over and broken, perched in the middle of the highway. Due to the sight of the decaying flesh around the leg, I assumed it had been there for hours, if not days. I made an attempt to approach it, but as I did, it spread its wings and snapped its beak at my open hand. It was obviously very hostile towards all beings that approached it. I sat there for a moment or so, pondering on how a creature in such a condition survives for so long in the middle of the highway. Then I took notice of something: as the flies made for the decaying wound in the leg, the hawk would consume them. That hawk, unbeknownst to itself (so far as I know), taught me a lesson.
The way the hawk had, though all hope was lost, still fought to survive by all means necessary, gave me inspiration. There is no reason why humans should be any different. Though we may be entirely different species, the same instinctive to survive is within the genetic code of all beings. You never hear of an animal committing suicide (save perhaps the myth of lemmings), so why are humans so different?
By my beliefs, I know nothing of what the true purpose of the universe is or even if it has a purpose for that matter. There is, as far as humans know, no end to this universe, but who are humans to judge? How far have we been? It took us thousands of years to find out that there even was a universe, and it will probably be too late for us to find other habitable planets. For that, humanity is doomed, and, in that sense, people should not dwell on the fact that they are inevitably not immortal. Everyone dies, so why fear it?
The fear of death is basically fearing life itself, for it happens, and then its over. That fear of death will cause a person to spend life taking no risks, confining themselves to their own mental prison. In this prison, there is no community, no companionship, and no contentment. Without these emotional essentials, the life given to a person is practically wasted.
There is no preventing one’s own birth. Nor is it possible for a person can ask to be born or ask how they wish to appear and behave. One way or another though, people exist. Some people’s lives may be miserable, but those conditions are made that way either by themselves or by the actions of others. So, in turn, one could also find a lesson in this truth: enjoy the life given to you and try to make the lives of those around you as enjoyable for them, for at any moment in it, that same life could be taken away.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.