Taboo Topic

The topic of death has been categorized as taboo in many cultures. Why is that though? Yes, dying can be scary, especially if your death results from some horrible experience or accident. However, why worry about something you really can’t control? Why not instead live life in a way that if you died tomorrow, you can look back and say “I had a happy, fulfilled life”? I see many people scared of dying, but at the same time they are not really living either.

Many people spend their days working jobs they hate, doing things they don’t enjoy, and promising themselves that next year will be better. People wait until retirement to travel and see the world (or even their own country), they go to a job they hate just to pay bills for things that they buy to impress people they don’t like, they avoid spending money on good food and a good time, but so many spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on holiday gifts for friends and family every year, and let’s be honest, most of the gifts are junk and barely ever get used (most of them). Spending money on unnecessary things, such as random gifts for people on dozens of holidays that the world celebrates is falling for a trap that the retail industry has set up for you. Instead, use that money to go on a vacation or visit an old friend or treat yourself to a nice dinner or whatever suits you. You think it’s selfish? Well, how can you give love and care to others when you are not happy in your life? How can you spread joy and happiness to others when you dread waking up in the morning due to the lifestyle that you have chosen, or that the society has chosen for you? Why not create a life where your presence in someone’s life is the best gift that you could ever give them?

Many work all of their lives, cheating themselves of vacations and personal days, just to enjoy their retirement…that time when you are much older, your health is less reliable, your energy has decreased significantly, and things that used to matter don’t matter anymore. Is that the time you are waiting for to enjoy your life? Yes, you might enjoy it to an extent, but at the same time you will look back and realize that life is not about the “rat race” and it is not about worrying of what others think or whatever else you might worry about. You are going to look back and wish you had taken that vacation, had taken that trip to see an old friend, had enjoyed that lovely Italian restaurant down the street from your house, etc. You don’t believe me? Then go to your local hospice or a retirement community, talk with the folks there, I am sure you will leave a different person who is ready to live his or her life to the fullest.

Therefore, no wonder the topic of death is taboo, because most people are not living their lives, they are surviving or just making a living, instead of making a life. We keep lying to ourselves and saying that we will do all the things we want to do when we retire or next year or whatever deadline you give yourself, but the reality is we are not promised tomorrow, so live today. Create a life where you do what you love, you serve others and your community, you give good to the world, you spend time with loved ones, you truly live each day to the fullest, and this way death will not be so scary. After all, we cannot control when or how we die, but we can control how we live our life.

gandhi

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