Somebody Died Outside My Job Today
Somebody died right outside of where I work today.
They were hit by a car while they were crossing the street. I’m not sure who’s fault it was, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
All that matters is that a human life was taken too soon.
Finitude and Finality
I’m no stranger to finitude and confronting the reality that I will die. I was involved in a motorcycle accident 6 years ago. I hit a car and flipped over it, luckily only breaking my thumb.
As I was laying on the ground, I was almost crushed by a 10 ton truck carrying lumber.
I was in relatively good humor about all of it at the hospital, trying to comfort everyone around me. My mother, father, and brother met me there.
It wasn’t until I got home that I started reflecting on what happened.
“You were almost killed Matt, and you’ve done nothing significant in your life. You didn’t even live up to your own potential,” I said to myself.
From the outside, my life looked alright; college degree, getting leading roles in legendary shows, and generally being a decent person.
But inside I knew there was more. I wasn’t upset that I almost died; rather, I was upset because of the finality of death, and that I didn’t live up to my potential.
I didn’t live up to the standards that I held for myself, and that’s the biggest failure of all. To give up.
“Disgraceful: for the soul to give up when the body is still going strong.” — Meditations, 6:29
The event that happened today reminded me of all these thoughts — and it reminded me that we could die at any minute, our lives can be cut short by an accident.
What is the right way to deal with the finitude of human life? Is there a right way? Should we be moralists about death? Can we determine if a life is good only when someone dies, and not before?
These are all muddling questions.