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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Passionate Death, The Passionate Life

When I read the news about a mayor who wants to make her town a long living 'blue zone', I can't help thinking, "Does living really matter?"

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for life. I am all about life, actually. Being alive, being able to breathe the air and living your days is to me the ultimate blessing. You can have bad days and good days, and it is still worth living. But what about people who don't have the luxury to realize that life is indeed worth living? There are people like that, trust me. Those who come to the realization that life sucks, and those who live life indifferently like a soulless puppet, I can't help thinking what life meant for them.

As a daughter, I saw my parents coped with their mental illness. It wasn't described like that at first, but when I started my own family I can finally see them the way they really are, their struggles and defeats. To some, they are actually pretty normal. After all, there are many people out there who are incapable of dealing with their emotions and illusions, or to break free from the vicious cycle that they created. My parents are not special in that matter. But here, thousands of miles away from my parents I spend my days knowing that one day I will receive the phone call from home that tells me one of them is dead. That one of them (or both of them) couldn't cope with life any longer and succumb to death. 

Dramatic isn't it? And some of you might think that I secretly wanted it to be that way. If they are dead, it will be one less burden that I have to carry for life. Yet the fact of the matter is, they will eventually die just like the rest of us mortal humans. When my grandmother died, I was filled with remorse. I was not sad because I could not see her anymore, I was sad for all the things I could have done for her. I was sad because I can't treat her better. And that is another thing about death: death is not about the deceased. It never was, and it never will be. Death is about the ones that got left behind. So the question is, who or what are you living for?

A friend and I had a discussions the other day. She was telling me about her new-found passion in dancing and we discussed about how it's like to have passion, to have something that you love (doing) so much that make life worth living. A couple of friends of mine love to travel. I know that they are passionate about it because they will go unannounced to many places and only post a few pics (if any) in their Facebook. But those posts, man oh man, you can tell that they are there because they wanted to be there, because they wanted that experience and live that life and not for a mere photo-op or bragging rights. Another one loves to write, and another one is a die-hard grunge-style lover. As you can see, I am passionate about human and writing. Regardless how bad a day is, knowing that I can write anything, anytime, makes me eager to start another day anew.

Yet there are people who seemed to live life just as it is. And we, my friend and I, discussed at length of how is it like to live a life without passion. People who (from their social media feed) seemed to live their life consumptively just like thousands of others: work, shop, drink, eat, etc, how do they feel with life? Are they looking forward for the next day in life? And should that lifestyle be taken away from them, would it brings them down or would they happily switch to something else, something other that could bring them the superior feeling of acknowledgement again, that they are 'doing it right' and 'in the group'? Is doing what other did simply because society told you to is the only way to live?

We stopped there and laughed. We chided ourselves and each other for being so nosy with other people's business. The fact of the matter is, what other people do with their life is absolutely none of our business. They might be passionate about things but we didn't realize it. What we do with our life, on the other hand, is completely our business. It is our responsibility even. We talk about how we want to use our passion to help other, to heal ourselves and the people that we could reach. And that is when we realize: The main question is never about "I don't want to die", the main question is "How can I live this life". That's where passion came through. That moment when you are doing something with all your might that the world seemed to stop or even not exist anymore, that's what passion could do for you. It defines you, shapes you, distracting you from unhappiness and providing you a brief respite in the otherwise cruel life as well as a reason to wake up the next day.

To some, this is an easy feat. Some people possessed such a strong passion inside them that living is such a tumultuous feat. And yes, some of the passions can be misguided. Passion for power, for instance, or any kind of passion that involves hurting others. This is the sad reality of our human world, where some of us have such weak self-restraint and would prey on others for their own benefit. And there are also some of us, many of us as a matter of fact, that live this life without even knowing why we live this life. Which is peculiar if you think about it. Science have proved to us that the world is in a constant balance. One thing leads to another, one event will affect another, that is how the world works. Therefore, not even a single human is in this world for no reason at all. Everybody has a role to play, everybody has to work their part.

It may sounds too complicated, too much spiritual/self-motivation mumbo jumbo not unlike the quotes that one could find in Facebook: "You are the world" or things like that. But even if you can't spark a specific passion for something in you, at least be passionate about living. Enjoy life today as it is: the present. Yes, another cliche, but true nonetheless. Death is not something to be afraid of. The scariest thing of all is to stuck for a long lifetime in a life that you do not enjoy, regardless how comfortable it is. There are people who walks in the shadow of death, forever wanting to be freed from their harsh cruel life; and there are people who walks living but like dead, forever not knowing what to do with their life. Life is good, life is fun. Be passionate about it.

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