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The Road of Life

Better to understand, than to remain ignorant

I’ve lived a very hard life with some easy roads mixed between it. I remember being yelled at by family for telling jokes at a funeral, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the person who died honestly would want all the sobbing and drama to replace the happiness they put in life. I’ve always been viewed as hard and cold, detached even when it comes to death. Or perhaps I just understood it better than religious zealots who would rather mourn the loss than celebrate the life. In my youth I went to church just like everyone else. In my teens I saw the hypocrisy, the lies; and for that I was ostracized and alienated. As an adult I saw the thin line between faith and religion. Realizations that most never make happened so quickly, how many people have passed to and from life right before my eyes I can never really say.

For a time death was always a constant, subtly taking people who were important to my life. It would’ve been easy to become bitter and sad about the passings. But with each loss I began to understand that life is not about suffering or misery that death brings. It's about acceptance that we are frail and life can be cut short. At least that is the lesson I gained from it. Humans so quickly and childishly waste time trying to cheat death, in the end nothing good comes from such wasted efforts. As the saying goes, "People fear what they do not understand". One would think after centuries of death, we would’ve come to understand that death is a natural part of the balance of life. Death comes for us all at our given time, whether it's the people that surround us or ourselves it seeks.

In the twilight of life, what matters most is the memories we leave for those who remain and how they choose to use them. The gift we are given can be frail or it can span decades. This gift does not last forever, and it will wither if one does not take care. In my youth I feared it unconditionally. As a teen I meditated on it night and day, constantly it was in my mind. As an adult I finally began to understand and accept that which has haunted people's worst fears. Life is a long and winding road covered in a dense fog born of the darkest portions of the human mind. Every decision can lead to peace or crippling fear. When the road ends, how you face it when there is no turning back is up to you. I’ve resolved myself to the path with more difficulty years ago, I'd rather remember and celebrate life then abhor death. In understanding I have gained clarity to live my life unclouded by fear, yet mindful of my actions. It is better to understand, than to remain ignorantly fearful to live well.

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