Why Mortality Makes Life Worth Living


At TED this year they ended the final day of talks with a reminder of mortality. A fictional monologue was given from a character living hundreds of years in the future—in a future where human beings live 500+ years and death is seen as a failure. She talks of how perfect her world of near-mortality was, until her wife gets diagnosed with cancer and is “sent back to Earth to die”. Her wife takes dying with grace, and embraces her own mortality, whereas the narrator has a harder time accepting the inevitable.

The moral of the story was an obvious one: in a world where humans live longer and longer—and immortality is just around the corner—life becomes bland and pointless.

Death gives life a due date. Our human existence is bookmarked by birth, when we come into this world, and death, when we depart it. If life is a train route, death is the end of the line.

I could write a lot more on why it’s “right” or healthy to embrace your mortality and on the current debates on “curing aging” versus aging gracefully. But instead (since as of this writing we have not found a way to be immortal) let’s just all agree on the fact that we are all going to die.

That being said… ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

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