The Fragile State of Human Mortality

Roman King | United States

There comes from time to time a moment when man must contemplate his own mortality, and come face to face with the inordinate truth that, like it or not, we have a limited time on this mortal soil. And it should also come with that knowledge that at any moment, no matter how crude or cruel, we may suffer that terrible fate, stolen from the machine of life, stolen from our loved ones, stolen from humanity. Such crises, God willing, will not happen often in any one person’s life. But time to time, tragedy strikes with the cruel, cold hand of a tyrant, punishing the innocent, and leaving behind a wake of horror. Such is the harsh reality of life; that we are subject to the ultimate truth that we are here for a limited amount of time, often times not nearly long enough.

There is never truly enough time. Time is our true enemy, and it cruelly marches onward, not taking care to look at the damage it leaves around it. It is a crisis that pulls at the heart and cries for any sort of reprieve, any sort of redemption from the terrible reality of mortality. How do we even manage ourselves? How do we pull ourselves out of bed in the morning, damned with the knowledge that one day it will all be over, and that ultimately, that terrible day could very well be tomorrow? And how do we live without doubling over in fear and trepidation?

The Frailty of Life

Faced with the overbearing, looming reality of the tragic present, we have all been forced to ask ourselves such terrible questions of mortality. It seems to me, though, that not all is lost. Life is fragile, yes. This is an indisputable fact. Similarly, though, a flower is fragile. Imagine the frailty of the beautiful petals of a rose or the delicate balance of a field of lavender. Similarly, though, a rich stained glass portrait, beautiful as it is, is incredibly fragile. The beautiful rays of light that flow through its rich colorful panels can be destroyed with no more than a rock thrown with a bit of malevolence.

One could even argue part of the beauty of such things is their incredible frailty; the fact that things had to come together in such balance to create such creation is part of the beauty. Such is the nature of life. Like a flower, all it takes is a slight gust in the wind to blow apart the whole thing. But in the time being, take a look at just how beautiful life really is. Pessimism and narcissism be damned; we don’t have enough time on Earth for such counterproductive ideology.

Do you doubt life’s beauty? Simply look outside. Watch the children frolic and play; watch as the royal sun rises in the sky, expressing dominion over the clouds; hear the laughter of friends and lovers; smell the simplicity of a home cooked meal; see the tight-knit love of a true family. How can you face such amazing things and say that life is anything but the most beautiful thing in this world?

Meaning Before Mortality

Live your life as if every day were your last, as if you are about to face mortality. Appreciate every day as it comes, for there is no time to waste. Nobody knows how long we have on this world, and for all intents and purposes, today might very well be the last day we have to ply our trades, to hug our friends and family, to spread our love, to live our dreams. It is the human prerogative to give it as much as we can for as long as we can; to live our lives and allow nobody to stop us; to dream the biggest dream we possibly can.

Our brief time allotted for us to exist is a luxury that is no more guaranteed than any other luxury item. This is the truth of humanity: we are doomed to mere decades, and in some cases, even less, on this coil, but what we do with our time is truly up to us. Do we build each other up? Do we live as if the truth is the pathway to enlightenment or to make the world a better place? And do we live lives that we’re truly proud of? Or do we find ourselves descending down the path of chaos, ignoring the moment, and becoming ignorant of just how fragile and just how lucky we really are?

A Sudden End

The time will come that you will have to embrace your mortality, and as unfortunate as it might be, that time is certain to come sooner than later.

Hug your family tight. Tell your friends you love them. Don’t hold your true emotions back. Don’t hold anything back. Live the life you truly want to live. You don’t have time to do anything else.

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