ISSUE ONE EXTRAS: Me and My Mortality

This is not a test.  I repeat, this is not a test.  Like it or not, you are currently living in the only life you will ever have.  Even if you believe in reincarnation, or in an afterlife, there is no getting around the fact that you will occupy this body, with these eyes looking at this page, on this planet, for a very finite amount of time.

Not to be a downer… there are great things about being mortal.  For one, it supplies us with the amazing head rush we get from roller coasters and other fun activities that put our wellbeing or even life at risk.  Bungee jumping and cigarette smoking would only be half as fun if they couldn’t kill you.  Mortality also ensures that you are not an inanimate object, that you will live at least for some period of time, even if that period is not for eternity.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be human then a rock or a chair any day.

Also, mortality is the mother of all human motivators.  Can you imagine how hard it would be to motivate your self to do anything productive if you were going to live forever?  Would humankind be able to be at all innovative if we had eternity to accomplish our goals?  Almost every one of humankind’s scientific advances and inventions has to do with saving us time, the most valuable of resources.  Think of the dishwasher, high-speed jets, and email.  Honestly, the fact that I know I will die one day helps me get out of bed in the morning.

So we know we are alive (for the time being), but  the big question is, what the heck should I do with this time I have been so graciously given?  Should I sleep?  Should I sing, run, curse wildly?  All three at the same time?  Should I dance, work overtime, scream, buy a new cell phone, party, read, cry, call my mother, go to the doctor, go to the shebeen…??  Seriously!  Its freakin stressful being alive.  With so many options and so little time, how anyone ever actually decides to do anything is truly beyond me. 

The unfortunate truth is, for those of us living in poverty, constituting most of humankind, survival is the name of the game and options for filling the time are slim.  Humankind might be far removed from the animal kingdom, but sustaining proper food and shelter, and very little more, is still the chief concern of a great majority of people living in the world and dominates a majority of their time.  If you are a very fortunate person you have some options, like the option to get an education.  If you are really lucky you might get to choose the kind of job you have, where you want to live, or whether you want chicken, fish, or butternut soup for dinner.

Whatever the case, and whatever situation you find yourself in, this ‘today’ is the only ‘today’ you will ever have.   So wake up silly goose!  Open them eyes real wide and smile because, like it or not, if you are reading this page then you are alive.  Compared to the huge number of people who have lived but are no longer living, and the huge number of people that will live in the future but have yet to be born, we, the modernly mortal, the currently kicking, make up a tiny percentage.  We are lucky we have gotten our turn and we are lucky to be having it now.  I repeat, this is not a test. 

'Me and My Mortality', by Eric Axelrod
Lo and Behold! Issue One

Unfortunately, a part of this article was omitted from the finished version of Issue One.  We include it here, on The Humble Lo and Behold! Blog, and apologise for any confusion roused amongst our readers, who are remarkably intelligent amongst magazine demographics, and usually very hard to perplex. Forgive us, O wise readers.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous22/9/10 09:32

    Hi Eric. Great article, I really enjoyed reading it. Thought provoking and challenging. Great stuff, keep up the good work. Mikey G