Does how you live determine when you will die?

Death is inevitable ‘Death! Death! Death!’ Those are the three words that introduced a poem which my class cited on a drama festival when I was in P.2. Our teachers told us to look gloomy and put one hand on one cheek, in order to draw pity from our parents who were watching.

Death is inevitable

‘Death! Death! Death!’ Those are the three words that introduced a poem which my class cited on a drama festival when I was in P.2. Our teachers told us to look gloomy and put one hand on one cheek, in order to draw pity from our parents who were watching.

Little did I understand about death then; as a matter of fact, I had never been to a burial nor had I seen a dead body. Apart from my grandmother who had passed away within those days, I had never heard of anyone who had died, to me, death was a myth… something I didn’t give much thought.

As I grew older, death became bolder and bolder in my eyes and ears. I would go to school only to be told that so and so had died, go back home and I hear that our neighbour had passed away.

In the 90s, which were internationally acclaimed as the decade of HIV/AIDS, death was more manifest than ever; “It” seemed like a permanent member of our society? I tell you, I got freaked out! Perhaps it was one of the reasons I became a Christian at a very young age.

The weird thing about death is; there is no pattern to it. Nobody can avoid it and nobody can run from it. It doesn’t behave like the landlord who will first give you an eviction notice; death will suddenly come, unannounced like a robber!

Death does not know class; it knows no sex, rich or poor, good or bad, robber or saint, fat or thin, commoner or minister. It cannot be bribed by celebrities, nor can it be eaten away by vegetarians.

Look all around you and remember those who have passed on; look at yourself and imagine… is there anything that you are doing that is keeping you alive?  Is there something that the dead didn’t do right?

Did they take more alcohol or smoke more cigarettes than you do… or live more recklessly than you are? Of course not.

I have known people who are friends of the bottle and the cigar, but have lived for over seventy years. True also, I’ve heard of very meek people, who attend church every Sunday and jog every evening, but couldn’t wake up one fateful morning.

How you live may perhaps determine… how you live; that is to say, if you are a robber, you will spend all your life running away from policemen. How you die cannot be determined by anything, maybe unless you are captured and the courts decide that you be electrocuted.

However, if you are being pursued by the police and as they fire live bullets at you, a stray bullet catches a stranger who just happened to be crossing the street at that same time, did he do anything that made him deserve the bullet?

mugishaivan@yahoo.com

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