Medicine and scientific developments have been effective in prolonging the human life. And this is certainly a wonderful thing. However, even though we were able to escape death at one point in our lives, it does not eliminate the fear of death.
By Sanjoo Thangjam
How can we overcome our fear of growing old and of death? Or how do human beings deal with fear of the dark shades of life and death? These have become important questions in our society where the population of the elderly has been increasing. But this is not a problem that had been noticed now. It has been a problem since the beginning of humankind. There had been many raging debates on the same subjects at the spiritual and scientific reasons for the fear.
However, many of the practical studies such as medicine and biology have focused on this problem but other studies, which focus on the inner-self such as religion and philosophy, have not been as strong in these areas.
Medicine and scientific developments have been effective in prolonging the human life. And this is certainly a wonderful thing. However, even though we were able to escape death at one point in our lives, it does not eliminate the fear of death. This is because even though the average life span extends from 50 years to 80 years, this does not lessen the fear of death and on the contrary, the fear of death is even greater. Thus no matter how long the average life span extends; the fear will not change.
At the same time, it goes without saying that there are new problems where human lives are being manipulated and treated as a kind of item. But praying or chanting will not bring a miracle. By utilizing religion as a means to obtain one’s own desires, one will always be preoccupied with one’s desires.
For example, as long as a person is obsessed with living a long life, even though the person lives to be 100 or 150, they will only accept death with denial. And even if a miracle were to occur and the person is granted a long life, death will soon come and the person will die, despising their whole life.
Then how can we live our remaining years? The word “remaining” already gives a negative connotation and the feeling of giving up.
One can find a hobby to upkeep their health and live their senior years quietly. However, will this truly calm one’s minds and will this bring happiness?
By focusing on our physical health, will this help us overcome our loneliness and anxiousness upon our retirement? This way of living does not differ from leading a gloomy life, waiting for death to come.
No matter how many funds the government has allotted to build senior citizen homes or hospice facilities, the problem will not be completely resolved. Having facilities such as these are extremely important and the development of facilities should be actively supported.
However, with these developments, Death education must be implemented or else these wonderful facilities will be meaningless.
Therefore, education in self-reflection needs to be taught or people will have to unwillingly live their lives, denying death.
The term “Quality of Living” has become very popular. In other words, there will be no satisfaction with life or death. The term “quality of life” stands in reality, with being and accepting life and death.
(The writer is a columnist based in Imphal, Manipur)