Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Watching my mother die I realized that life has no meaning.

We are, and then we are not. That is all.

There is no meaning to death. There is no such thing as a needless death or an unnecessary death, just as there is no such thing as a meaningful death.

We live. We die.

How and when we die is not preordained or significant in any way. Death is just something that happens. Just like life itself. We're no different from ants running along the sidewalk carrying their heavy loads. Some get trodden on, others don't. Some manage to get their packages to their destinies, others don't. All the ants die, regardless.

This is not a religious or an anti-religious statement. It's just an observation.

Life is not something we deserve. We've just been lucky to have lasted this long, even if we are only one day old.

Am I writing this because yesterday two bombs strapped to two different people, seeking immortality, blew up and killed fifteen people and injured many others who were not seeking anything? Am I writing this because tomorrow is the second anniversary of a day on which a group of people, also seeking immortality, flew two planes into two tall buildings, killing thousands?

No I am not. I am writing it because it is the way of the world. We may try to escape this by creating theories and ideologies and belief systems, because it is very difficult to accept. But we are just deluding ourselves. It remains the way of the world regardless of what we believe. It is not sad or regrettable. It is just the way it is.

This is not to say that there is a God or there is not a God. This is to say that, in my view, God is not an overseer that sits up on a cloud above the little planet Earth, and decides every day which ant will be trodden on, and which antelope will be devoured by a lioness, and which human being will be stricken down by another human being. These are just chance occurrences. They are inconsequential to the bigger picture, even if, for us, they are the whole world.

Take a minute. Look up from your computer screen and look around you. Look at the people you love dearly and at the people you don't like and at the people you don't even know. Look at the sun and the sky and the clouds. Look at the trees and the flowers. Listen to the birds singing and to the sound of the city traffic, cars and buses and trams and trains, taking people from place to place. Look and listen and be thankful. We did nothing to deserve all of these things and we have no way of knowing when they, or our ability to enjoy them, will be gone.

Death comes quickly and, more often than not, doesn't bother to call ahead to say it is on its way and give us a chance to prepare. And even if it does, how does one prepare?

* * * *

If you want to read about the terrorist attacks, go read Tal and Gil and Allison and Rinat or one of the other Israeli bloggers listed on the left side column. I have nothing to add.

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