Being doomed ain’t all that bad

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

A guy I usually stop and have a cup of coffee with when I’m in Kerrville was exchanging pontifications with me lately.  Seemed everything we could think of to talk about led to a similar ‘where’, and that where didn’t invite any street dances.  At least unless a person could rotate it on the axis enough to recognize all the ‘wheres’ are the same place as they always were.

Problem was we kept switching around looking at things too collectively.  Individually he and the other old codgers who hang around there talking with him, including me, aren’t doing too badly.  Some of us have health issues, and all of us are a lot nearer death [by appearances] than we were ten years, or ten minutes ago.  Same as everyone else, though an argument might be made we’re nearer than them.

Nearer, by appearances, only.  Those people driving by out there on the pavement all are operating under the illusion they’re going to live as long as us, which one-hell-of-a-lot of them won’t.  They’ll get terminal illness, car smashups, all manner of unexpected ways to exit the vehicle while some of us old guys are still stopping by visiting one another.

And by far the greatest likelihood is that we ain’t all, including the ones driving by, ain’t going to all die the same week, the same day, even the same decade.  Which is the difference between individual, and collective doomsday.

But when you come right down to it, what-the-hell is the difference?  If we all pick the same day to die we’ll each still have had our day in the sun.  Same as we would have otherwise. 

Thinking about this during the times I’m not in the company of other people it seems to me there’s a lot more emphasis put on the collective side of things than contributes to uppidyness at an individual level.  If I happened to care a lot whether and when I die, I can see how the prospect of all sorts of risk-taking might seem something to be avoided.  Might be able to influence one-way-or-another [though not nearly as much as I might imagine] whether I kicked sooner, or later.

But looking around me and seeing all manner of cumulonimbus signs of doom coming up on the horizon and concluding it’s worse than just my own personal demise, that it’s something humanity ought to avoid, just doesn’t make any sense at all.  It requires the assumption that there’s something better after I’m dead, about lots of human beings running around watching television, driving to the grocery store, playing games on the computer, and having romances.

Fact is if they all die the same week as I do the great bulk of them will have been spared a lot of pain and worry, and looking around me I’m not certain the happiness and satisfaction they might have experienced is enough to offset it for most of them.  At least not enough to be worth interrupting the happiness and satisfaction of now on an individual level to devote thought to it.

One of the things comes up in those conversations is what a shame it was we waited so long to figure out we could have been living right back then, instead of waiting around to do it.  We’d have gotten a lot more living done, on the one hand.  And on the other, if doomsday had come along and interfered, we’d have still gotten something for our money.

Old Jules

13 responses to “Being doomed ain’t all that bad

  1. A doctor diagnosed a diseases I have and told me it would kill me soon. Then he took another look at me and said, “at your age, you will probably die before it kills you”. So, does that mean I should just do a sigh of relief and say “wow” am I lucky? Heck, either way, I am going to die fairly soon.

    • Hi DizzyDick: Soon’s in the eyes of the beholder, I reckons. Remember Catch 22, by Joseph Heller? Yosarian used to cultivate boredom to make it last longer. Here’s wishing you however long you live and that you don’t need to resort to cultivating boredom to make it last longer. Gracias, J

  2. I’ve been lucky in recognizing the good times while I was living them; most of them have been good times and the times that weren’t so good had more to do with me than the actual times. I’ve reached the stage of the game where there is a noticeable acceleration in leave takings. I’ve gotten a pretty good run for the money. I don’t like seeing everyone leave the party so soon but the time that it really bothers me are when it’s young kids who didn’t get a long enough turn.

    • Hi elroyjones. Mine’s been about as good as I could have ever hoped for, though I didn’t know it a lot of the time. Sounds as though that was true for you, also. Probably true for all of us, or most of us.

      No way for any of us to know what the deal is when it involves kids. Human history has a lot of them and I’m not certain anyone’s ever figured it out. Probably ain’t our business to try to figure it out. Some 4 year old dying of the plague a thousand years ago ain’t a lot of different from one dying at the end of a military drone somewhere next week. Or getting hit by a car 1950 and 2013. If it says anything at all, it must be saying that’s a part of living, too, and it’s not something collectively worth bothering ourselves about, seems to me. Gracias, J

  3. Been thinking a lot here lately about death! At my age, who doesn’t? Remember that old song by Whispering Bill Anderson – “I Would Have Done a Lot of Things Different”. I can definitely relate!

    • Hi okfever. I might have done a lot of things different too, though I’m glad I didn’t, I reckons. At some point it boils down to what we can scrape off the bottom of the pot. Some of it tastes better than some of the other, but it’s all good. Gracias, J

  4. I suppose I’m lucky. I’ve had a nice long turn, enjoyed most of it, and still feel mostly young. But, my twin died 6 months ago and I know I’m staring it in the face…someday, probably sooner rather than later. Oh well, guess I’ll just enjoy what’s left. As elroyjones stated, it bothers me when it’s the young ones.

    • Hi Trapper Gale. It’s staring all of us in the face, I reckons, no matter what age we might be. The old saw about getting hanged tomorrow being something to concentrate focus has some merit. As I mentioned to elroyjones, I honestly don’t know what to make of the youngster side of things. I’d bet for most of human history at least a third of the people living at the time died before the age of 10. Must be something in that a person could conclude about it, but it’s beyond my ken. Gracias, J

  5. Too much gloom and doom lately. Try to enjoy each day of your life in some way instead of thinking about when you are going to die.

    • Hi Bev. All in how we each look at things, I reckons. It’s actually possible to enjoy each day and still recognize death’s a part of it. That there’s nothing gloomy or doomy in holding the fact up to the light and examining it. Gracias, J

  6. Made that “quote” “unquote” spot we strive for. Now that I,m there I can’t unhook fiscally or physically long enough to enjoy it in the same manner you are,I.e. just doing what the hell we want to do with no parameters.
    When “it” happens. Fifty fifty chance it’ll be so quick as to not matter anyway. reality is. Most of us are more scared of “how” we die, not that we do die. Like going to the dentist, Oh !,,, I bet that first needle will hurt..

    Ma’s tarde amigo. Hurricane. (AKA) keith

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