I scan the obituary notices in the local paper. Not because of any morbid curiosity. Not because I want to know if anybody I know is dead.
I scan them for two important reminders about life: One, we all die, and I will also die.
The second reason I scan them is to remind myself that we all age, and that if we are lucky enough to live long, then we will see our youth recede farther and farther in our rear-view mirrors.
I have blogged in plenty, like here, about how when we see old and frail people, we see them only as old and frail people, and forget that they, too, were once young and lively and energetic. To quite an extent, the old and the frail are constant reminders of what is coming our way. We see the future every day, yet we so easily dismiss what we see.
Of course, this is nothing new. It is very much a part of the story of the Buddha himself. Remember that story? Siddhartha was brought up in a bubble where the misfortunes of life were hidden from him. Siddhartha did not know anything about the human suffering, And then, one day, he ventures out and finds a dead person. A corpse. Siddhartha meets an old man, and now worries that he too might become old and wrinkly. The metamorphosis of Siddhartha to the Buddha began.
We might try our best to defeat aging and death. But, resistance is futile. Resisting it also means that we lose the wonderful opportunity that we have to enjoy the here and the now.
If only we understood carpe diem and YOLO along these lines!
No, I did not wake up thinking about all these. Instead, it was watching reading and watching this that led me to blogging for today.
Enjoy, before the day is done!
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