• Athalia Ibanga

Why the limitations of life should encourage us to be kind to one another

2020 has seen an unprecedented global fixation on death. At such a precarious time, despite being a healthy 20-year-old, I have found myself pondering ‘what happens next?’ Perhaps it is the transition into my 20s that has prompted such unfathomable thoughts or the isolating nature of the current situation but, the uncertainty of death can be quite distressing.

It is important, now more than ever, to remove death from the list of taboos and normalise discussion as we undertake our various journeys in life. Like many others, I believe that the soul lives on, but I am not here to convert the masses, simply to encourage us to converse with one another and take refuge in each other’s thoughts. After all, in such trying times, perhaps there is greater importance to be found in what brings us comfort in our day to day lives.

This leads me to the ultimate question: what do I truly fear? Maybe I am afraid that when the time comes I will be proven wrong or is the fear of my own death narcissistic, yet more warranted when accompanied by fear for others? It’s not that I think my death will have such a large impact on humanity but also one can only hope they leave behind such a powerful legacy. I think I am most fearful of the transition and those we leave behind when we pass. I long for the reassurance we will all be reunited in another life.

Ultimately, in such an uncertain and draining time it may be more useful to take solace in what brings us peace and comfort. For myself, I believe that the immaterial soul lives on and for others the belief in reincarnation makes the transition from this life to the next more comfortable. The importance of something to cling to, a hope to live for can quite often be grossly underestimated but regardless of our personal afflictions with faith, we all have a duty to live life to the fullest for those who cannot.

After careful reflection, no matter how reluctant, one must accept that life has its limitations . Perhaps it would be more beneficial to focus on the aspects of life that we can control. As much as we might fear death, it a natural process of life. Charles Bukowski wrote, “we’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing’’. If you take away anything from this piece I hope it is the importance of tolerance, kindness and showing love to one another. We’re not here forever, let’s live with purpose and intent.

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