(On the Inevitability of Death)
Araw-araw tayong nakamamalas ng kamatayan. Maaaring namatayan tayo ng kapamilya, kamag-anak, o kakilala. O sa simpleng pagbabasa o panonood ng balita e nakakikita tayo ng mga namatay sa disgrasya, sa kalamidád, karamdamán, áway, o pagpapatiwakál. Oo, iba’t ibang paraan namamatay ang tao, at araw-araw tayong nahaharap sa riyalidád na lahat tayo ay mamamatay. Nakatatakot, pero yan ay totoo. Ayaw mapag-uusapan. Pero mabuti na ring matalakay paminsan-minsan. Hindi upang ihanda an gating mga sarili—dahil halos lahat naman siguro sa atin ay hindi basta-basta matatanggap na bilang na an gating mga oras. Subalit, maige lang napag-uusapan upang maintindihan natin na ang kamatayan ay darating at darating. At higit sa lahat, para mabigyan natin ng halaga ang ating buhay. Dahil iisa lang ang buhay sa mundo, e nararapat natin itong suungin sa maayos na paraan.
Death is inevitable.
The average lifespan of humans is 79. And considering one’s respective lifestyle and health conditions, it can come as early as one’s 50s or extend to one’s 90s.
That’s the reason, if you may have already noticed, many high-profile individuals like artists and celebrities (who have very active lifestyles, and also often stressful lives) and people who manage bigtime businesses die in their 60s. Because, like machines, their bodies are more used and often overworked. Similarly, very poor individuals tend to have also shorter lives, because they are often deprived of good nutrition and medical necessities and are faced with more life-threatening challenges and struggles, making them less healthy and more prone to sickness.
The Idea of an Afterlife
Different people have different beliefs concerning death and the idea of an afterlife. This is often anchored to their religions or the lack thereof. Many people I know—obviously those who believe that there is a god—believe, too, that there is an after-life waiting for them—either Heaven or Hell, depending on how one lived her life here on Earth. Other people, on the other hand, do not believe in an afterlife. I am one of those people.
I believe that when I die, that will be also the end of me; no so-called afterlife (or better yet, an after-death). No Heaven. No Hell. Nothing.
So what is my motivation in doing goodness and in living a responsible life if I believe that there is no after-death reward such as Heaven? What else, but life here on Earth itself. Simple as that. If I do goodness, then I attract more good people. If I do evil things—like break a law or hurt others—then I get punished for these acts. Simple as that. People will also tend to stay away from me if I am evil. Simple as that. I don’t need the reward of Heaven or the punishment of Hell to put me in line. The consequences and the repercussions of everything I do are enough to make me put a high value on kindness, goodness, compassion, and the sense of responsibility.
That is also why I enjoy my life to the fullest, doing all the things that give me satisfaction—so long as I follow the law of the land and avoid doing hurtful things against others. I also take care of my health. I live responsibly by not engaging in destructive vices such as smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. Most of all, I maintain a mutually beneficial and benevolent relationship with my loved ones and with other fellow good humans. All these help me avoid unnecessary conflicts and deflect negative energies from others.
And because I believe that I have only one life—this life I am living right now—I cherish it as much as I can, spending time with my loved ones and trying to be useful and productive to myself and as a member of society.
Finally, I try to leave as many legacies as I can, with the use of my talents, skills, and creativity, so that when I’m gone, people will have lots of vital and lasting things to remember my name by.
Sa Madaling Salita
Kaya hindi ako takot pag-usapan ang paksa ng kamatayan, dahil mas pinapalakas nito ang aking kalooban na harapin ang buhay sa maayos at responsableng paraan. At dahil alam ko na wala akong aasahang ekstensyón napos ng aking kamatayan, e dapat lang na huwag kong pabayaan ang aking kalusugan at panatilihin kong maayos ang aking pakikipag–kapwa tao—upang humaba pa ang aking buhay at maging mapayapa ang aking pagtanda. Dahil wala nang kasunod pa pagkatapos ng lahat-lahat ng ito.