Beijing Zoo Panda - Depression
How do you live knowing we cause harm to others around us?

By Brian Nadon

Death and dying are the worst parts of life, right? After all, they do end the whole thing.

So while it does make sense, generally, to try to avoid dying, I often marvel at the terrible things people do to stay alive – things much worse than death. We’ll betray friends, betray our most closely held beliefs, people will even sell out their own children and grandchildren – as the elderly often do in almost every election – just to keep things the way we like them.

How pathetic is this? And what a contradiction it is. Sure, you’re literally still alive, but you traded your soul to make it so. You might as well be in a coma on a ventilator.

Actually, according to some theologists, that would be better. Because the problem with the pathetic, unprincipled, selfish things we do to stay alive – stealing, hoarding, lying, and cheating – is that we then have to live with them. People do terrible things to live to see the sunrise the next day. A day within a dawn that’s privy to our many sins.

There are many worse things than death, many things that no amount of years are worth trading for. That is: Living with what we had to do to keep living, well, that can be worse than death.

We must always remember that. Life is not the scarce resource, living well is. Being a good person is. Doing the right thing is. That’s what important. Not how many years you pile up.

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