Here are some lines I heard down the pub last night:
“I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to live until I’m old. Quality over quantity.”
“Life is there to enjoy.”
These are strange ideas to me. There is something half true in them, and half not true.
To not be afraid of death sounds noble, but there is no death to be afraid of. Quality over quantity also sounds noble, but when people say this in my local pub they do not mean to live with great compassion – they mean to cram in as much perceived pleasures as they can even if it means an earlier death.
Hence the second phrase. Life is there to enjoy. Well, yes it is. But my enjoyment of it should not come in the way of your enjoyment of it, otherwise it is only there to enjoy for me! And what if you are Ethiopian. Should I get in the way of you enjoying it then? No. So, I am a rich Westerner. What does this mean about my enjoyment of life? Do what I want? I don’t think so.
People are really just talking about themselves, and wanting to have fun. Sounds OK, but the thing about seeking fun is once you have had fun today, you need to find fun again tomorrow. It is much better to find inner joy! It doesn’t run out!
People saying these things down my local pub – they really mean that they are insatiable. They have to keep getting more and more fun. Strangely, this is keeping them from really experiencing the beauty of life. What a subtle thing. So many people are still not getting that.
Life is joy. Who is the one who needs the enjoying?