My position on the matter was that there’d be a certain point at which it’d be better to be dead than to live in such a world. A point at which life and the world you live it in would be so bleak that a bullet or an overdose would be the way to go.
Michael disagreed. His answer to my argument was very simple: “There’s plenty of time for death.” That even in a world of utter despair, why not live? Which brought up the question of where lies the value in the lives we lead. What are our lives about?
Last year I was trekking the Peruvian Andes with a group of people I’d just met. As the days passed and we saw more and more remote, ‘primitive’-seeming villages, an Israeli man I’d befriended asked me the same question about the people whose homes we were passing through.
“What are their lives about?”
As far as we could see, their days consisted of scrounging building materials, firewood, and food from the mountains; feeding and killing chickens; boiling water; preparing food; cleaning their homes; caring for their young; making more young. Each day the same. A continual cycle of planting, growing, harvesting, cooking, cleaning.
And while back in the US I can go home and flip a switch that creates heat, and place a phone call, read out a credit card number, and have food delivered to my door, and sign a lease that immediately provides for reliable shelter, and have spare time to pursue myriad interests that don’t involve sustaining my physical being — does that reality put me more or less in touch with my humanity? And is “being in touch with my humanity” something I should be concerned with?
In short, I wanted to ask that Israeli man, and I wish I had, what his life is about.
Interesting post through Matador