Mortality

It’s Mid-June. Where the hell did the past 5 and a half months scurry under?

I wouldn’t really want to recount all the events that happened, because in my mind they are all a blur of meeting people and spending time alone. That’s all there is to it, I guess. Having a shared memory, or solitude…

I want to take a weekend off and spend time by myself. I’ve been a working adult since August 2007, so it’s been close to 5 years of toiling for a monthly paycheck. In these 5 years I’ve not taken any indulgently long leave. Just long enough to get away but too short to really have a real journey and discover. Maybe I shouldn’t have spent all that money on expensive meals. Ack. When will be my next holiday? I’m targeting Hanoi, mostly because nobody would know me there, and I’ll reflect on life as I sail by Ha Long Bay. Again, I will try my luck for the Big Sweep. I’m willing to invest SGD$3 for a chance of winning some dough to stay off  salaried work for a bit.

I watched Snow White and the Huntsman over the weekend by myself. Apart from being let down by Kristen Stewart’s grotesquely lackluster performance, I had a moment of reality check because Charlize the evil Queen reminded me of how we are all scared of aging and dying. Suddenly I had a vision of myself getting old and dying and I got a bit startled. I haven’t thought of what comes after death that much lately and when I did, it was mostly the fact of losing people close to me that wetted my eyes for a moment. What will the world be without me in it? Would it make any difference? I’m 27 this year – how much time do I need to make a dent in history for people to know how I’ve changed the world (not necessarily for the better or worse, but just different)?

I think I experienced the same fear that all religious people do when they zealously worship whatever celestial god they prefer, based on the promise of being granted a glorious afterlife. The fear of dying, if not managed well, can cripple people of relishing the gift of being alive. Why do we focus on what all will come to when we all have such different living experiences to share? We all trying to gripe with the big Question of why are we alive and conscious, yes, but I’d rather let the inevitable descend upon me when the time is here.

Meanwhile, I’d like to enjoy my consciousness and senses. Maybe I might become a ghost with no sense of touch. How awful would it be, to see someone you love dearly but can’t even give him/her even a hug? Therefore I hug as much as I can while I’m alive because I’m not sure if I can still do that when I’m dead. Makes sense?

No matter what rocks your boat, everyone has a living philosophy. The successful want to build something significant enough to impact generations long after they die. The apathetic wallow in self pity because they are mostly also narcissistic inside,  and lament just about anything they find disagreeable in their short glimpses of the universe to themselves and others. The resigned realist goes through each living day, glad that it is his/hers to be had. The desperate pray. I just feel powerless against the universe but powerful in my own sphere of influence. It is because I believe in the power of positivity and living your life.

I’d like to end with a Bruce Lee quote that I find pretty inspiring.

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential” – Bruce Lee

Go forth and be the best human being that you can be.

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3 thoughts on “Mortality

  1. Hi, we have not met but I chanced upon your site sometime back.
    Some of us will realize our own mortality either with the passing of friends or relatives or in your case the plight of a character from a story. Some may also be inspired to live more meaningfully from such realizations. From your words, it seems to have a positive influence to your attitude to your relationships and your world.

    I’d like to offer a view, that at times when you do feel your own ‘powerlessness’ against the universe, try to remember that you are a part of it, and without you it would be a different universe.

    Here’s another quote from Bruce Lee
    “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”

    • Hi mt, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! The realization that human mortality is but a blip of fleeting finite consciousness makes me appreciate what time I have even more. I do feel powerless against the inevitable fate of death that none can escape, but despite being tiny in the grand scheme of things, I believe to give meaning our existence, we need to be “at one” with our environment and your Bruce Lee quote is truly apt in capturing that spirit. 🙂 I hope you apply the same principle to your own sphere of influence and I look forward to having you share more thoughts!

  2. Harmony with the environment has always been an attractive option for me. One thing about the water quote is the flexibility of it. It is almost like the creative mind, unrigid, finding value or joy in the unique circumstances it faces. If we flow like water, letting go of obstacles and hurdles, we move around them and this flexibility to let go ensures we don’t get stuck in the “unhappy trap” for long. I’m glad you find your mortality helps you appreciate the miracle that is your life.
    Cheers.

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