Death is a topic that the living avoids in polite conversations, though none could escape it.
I recently came across Berkeley professor and Vanity Fair editor Christopher Hitchen’s writings on death. He wrote several pieces on dying, shortly after he was diagnosed with end-stage esophagus cancer.
Hitchens was a brilliant polemicist known for his sarcastic, cutting humor, so it was especially devastating when the disease eventually robbed him of his ability to speak.
He wrote: ‘To the dumb question “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?’ He expressed sadness over not being able to realize his plans for the next decade when he felt he had worked very hard to earn it.
In life, sometimes good things happen to bad people and vice versa. Each year, over 9 million innocent children under the age of five die of malnutrition and lack of clean water.
Though it’s very human to feel such righteous anger, it is useless and pointless to be furious at the world for dealing us bad cards. Things are the way they are, and the world just is. We cannot fight with the “is-ness” of things, as much as we wish they were different.
If we want the world to be better, we have to be better and transform our suffering into a positive force for change.
“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” ― Lily Tomlin
The only justice we get is the justice we make. Each time we stand up for an ideal or speak up against injustice, we send out a tiny ripple of hope that, when united with the positive forces from similar others, cuts through oppression to bring justice to this world.
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My name is Yumay Chang, and I run Life Is Love School, a global support group for childhood trauma survivors. I had a challenging childhood, and I know what it’s like to feel not good enough and not lovable. I learned through over two decades of research and plenty of trial and error how to heal so I can live a life of joy, love, and purpose. Now I help women that are successful at work but are unfulfilled in their personal lives do the same so they can also shine their brightest.
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