In essence, Emerson is getting at a point worth making here: we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall prey to hype, “expert opinion”, or best “educated guess”, especially in matters that deal with our lives and our longevities… our fates and our destinies if you will.
Given that, and given all the terrible, bad, really awful news out there about the state of affairs in America, and the chaos and angst and hate on the part of so many of our brothers and sisters around the world these days, it should come as no surprise, then, that coming across this article gave me a good long pause.
The article tells us that a new gizmo is headed to the market which will be able to tell us when, and – in some cases – how we will die:
Scientists have designed a ‘death test’ which can tell you how long you are going to live. The non-invasive laser test is able to determine when a person is going to die and is the first of its kind in the world. A wristwatch-style device analyses the body’s endothelial cells through the surface of the skin, measuring how the body will decline with age.
There are plenty of good reasons to raise an eyebrow of suspicion and apprehension at this news; it’s not unreasonable to worry that if “they” know when you’re going to die, “they” might not insure you or ensure that you receive adequate care or honor any insurance agreements already entered into. Morevoer, these are justifiable concerns in this day and age of Government-creep, and its ever-greater intrusion into our personal and private lives.
But… and this is an important but… the likelihood that Big Brother will succeed in taking over the bulk of our lives (and our freedoms), and assume the role of thinking for us and deciding what’s best for us, is an all-but-foregone conclusion now. Argue all you want… the Great Social Experiment is a done deal; that horse is already out of the barn.
What that leave us with is the question of what we do with our lives, to the extent we can choose for ourselves how to live them, whenever and wherever and however we choose to… when we think wandering eyes aren’t watching.
And if you move past all that with acceptance of, and submission to, the greater wisdom of your Political Heroes… and think about the punchline of the MailOnline article itself… I wonder how people feel about this idea of knowing in advance when we’re going to assume room temperature. Do we live life with reckless abandon, or do we fuss over every single step we take and move we make so that we don’t tempt fate to come along and cash in our chips?
I’d offer the “educated guess” that a great many people out there would like to know as early as possible just how long they have left, but count me out of that; some things…especially this thing… are/is better left to wonder.
There’s a song I’m quite fond of that comes to mind, performed by one of my favorite Country artists Tim McGraw (it’s ok if you’re not a Country fan…the song is still worth a listen), and it’s relevant to my bigger point in this essay:
For my money, we should do as this song suggests, regardless whether we know – in advance – how long the song’s going to play. We should love deeper, forgive easier, laugh and play harder, and – like he says – live like we were dying… because we already are. What’s the rush to pencil it in your diary, and watch the clock tick by waiting for it?
Thoreau gets the last word here:
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
Seems to me that life is meant to be lived… not mapped out so well that we miss all the randomness we were so scared of coming across that we never really lived at all.