Death is not the Answer...

...except when it is. Aside from my "new age" belief in the right to die and my anachronistic notions of personal honor, suicide is never the answer. It has become apparent to me that losing a peer will never be easy at any point in life. The reason for this should be obvious; if one is your peer, then you identify with them. You can see your mortality in the end of theirs. It's not purely demographic as some circles tend to believe. I've lost plenty of friends who are not "peers" in the sense that, while we may have had good conversations and learned from each other, it was understood that we were just friendly strangers passing through each others' lives. 

While there has always been some sadness in those cases, it was short-lived, stymied by the knowledge that their suffering had ended. This knowledge was realized through the profound (to me) statement by the Dalai Lama, who said (paraphrased) that he found it ironic that people celebrate birth and mourn death because your suffering begins at birth and ends with death. 

While many millions of Americans mourned the death of John and Robert Kennedy and the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001, were they mourning the loss of life or the loss of hope? Or was their mourning due to fear and uncertainty?  Do any of those things truly matter? Did most have a reason to mourn other than their indoctrination in a belief that says it's the proper thing to do? 

Non-critical thinking is a trap! Count your blessings now because when they're gone it's too late. How many people experience the viciousness that is constantly thinking about the future when things will be better rather than being present in the moment and embracing that peace?  

It's fundamental in western economics (and it's depressingly cynical) that no matter what one has, one will always want more. Stop and think how lucky you are and how much worse it could be, and is, for so many of your fellow humans. Ten lifetimes ago having a roof over your head and regular meals year round was hard work. Think about the inconvenient truth; that hope means nothing. It is a word for a concept of wishful thinking and inaction. Don't hope, don't wish, don't worry. That's utterly useless. Nothing in life just happens because you crossed your fingers. Everything in life takes proactive behavior on someone's part. If you suffer a loss in your life, it should be taken as an opportunity to examine and discuss what's really important to you.

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