I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 yesterday.  I’m a big fan of Harry Potter, both the books and the movies.  I’m a bit sad that it has ended and there are no more new movies/books to look forward to.  But as with all good things (and bad), it must come to an end.

I’m not going to write about the movie, or the book.  I’m actually going to write about the ending, or rather, dying.

Intellectually, we all know that dying is part of living.  It is the logical outcome of life and we would all die in the end.  A lot of people are preoccupied with eternal life though, doing all they can to live forever, like making horcruxes and storing bits of their soul in them to be recovered later.  But even ordinary people take extreme measures to prolong their life.

I sometimes watch a show titled Obsessed  where ordinary people with obsessive compulsive tendencies are treated.  There was a man who was obsessed with staying alive.  He goes to the gym about 8 times a day and pops about 30 pills everyday, all these to ensure that he stays alive long enough for scientists to find a cure for aging.  His treatment was not so successful as he wasn’t really open to changing his outlook.  He did reduce his time at the gym, instead of 8 times, he only goes like 3 to 5 times.  For the therapist, the treatment was a failure.  For him, it was a success.  He wasn’t really open to the idea of changing and we really can only change if we want to, the motivation has to come from within.  It doesn’t matter what the world says, if we don’t want to change, we can’t.

That man was an extreme case but everyday, I think we do things that will prolong our life.  We exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins and use products to control the signs of aging.  Of course we should keep ourselves healthy as this will ensure that we can enjoy our life.  But if we spend most of our time calculating calories, browsing the internet for the new magic pill, blowing our money on products that promise to keep us looking young, then I think we have a problem.

We will all die.  We must learn to accept this.  Everyday, someone dies.  But life goes on.  We can’t dwell on the possibility of death.  Sure let’s take care of ourselves.  Let’s prepare for the future.  But let’s also be in the present.  Let’s enjoy today.  Let’s make the most of our time here.  Let’s help someone, let’s spend time with our family, let’s enjoy our food, let’s spend some time doing what we enjoy.

In the end, what really matters?  Would it matter if you lived to be 40 or 60 or 100?  Would it matter if you had wrinkled skin or grey hair?  Would it matter if you had a million dollars in the bank or dozens of properties and cars?  I think what matters is the legacy we leave behind, the memory that people will carry in their hearts, the impact that our life has left on earth.  In the end, I’d rather be surrounded by friends and family than by possessions.  As they say (I forgot who), live your life as if it were your last.  One day you will be right.

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