What is there in common between a 78 year old elderly man & a 30 year old young man that has contracted a terminal illness?
Answer: Both of them only 2 years more to live.
What is the difference between a 78 year old elderly man & a 30 year old young man that has contracted a terminal illness that gives him only 2 years more to live?
Answer: Nothing much, except that that the elderly man has experienced 48 more years of joy and hurt in life.
Yet people always give pity to the young man instead of the old man when both of them are facing the similar situation of the inevitable death. Do you know why? They trust that if given another 48 years more to live, that young man may have made a difference. There is so much unfulfilled potential and hope in that young life. Valid deduction, but let us now be logical through statistical means. Do you seriously think that those 48 years would have been spent on something that is of value? Look at the life of the stereotypical man now: eat, work, reproduce and die. How many people made a significant difference? If that young man was Harry Truman, Gandhi and people of the like… I would have understood. However, the truth is many of us aren’t even intending of making an impact like theirs, yet we still all desire for that extra 48 years. Is that request even valid to begin with?
I think I know what we are going to do with that extra 48 years. It is just some time for us to come to terms with our mortality and the inevitable death.
Frankly do you know what I think? What a waste of time.
Just a question for yourself: Would you rather be in the shoes of the elderly man or the young man?
I think I would be the young man – have much energy in my last 2 years and use it to do something of value, meaning and purpose. I hope I walk my talk.