this a lot--people who want to be on this planet as long
as possible, going to doctors to have them take care of
any medical problems that might threaten their longevity,
without ever really making any effort to improve their
lives or the ways that they lead them. But is life
about living long? Is adding extra years to our time
here on the planet really something to aspire to?
We have to ask ourselves how we actually define life,
don't we? Is life defined by simply breathing and
having our heart beating and blood flowing through our
veins and arteries, or is there more to it? We all
have many ways available to us to make our lives more
fulfilling and to improve the type and amount of service
that we provide while we're here, but how often do we
actually make the effort to take advantage of those
opportunities? Or do we simply allow the status quo
to remain, since it's easier and less risky?
Charles isn't criticizing people. He simply says
it's "astonishing," not terrible or stupid or
anything like that. But he is pointing out something
that could be very important to us--there is a huge
difference between making our lives longer and making our
lives better. People who learn that they'll be dying
soon very often make their lives amazing for the limited
amount of time they have left, but others who are able to
live much longer amounts of time often do nothing at all
to make their lives special at all.
We fear death, so we do our best to lengthen life. I
think sometimes we should fear coming to the end of our
days and having tons of regrets for all the things we
didn't do to improve our lives; if we lived by that fear,
then we would probably do much more to make our lives more
enjoyable and fulfilling.