Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Death, Worry & A Cowboy's View

There is a really great movie titled Conagher based on a Louis Lamour story and starring Sam Elliot and Katherine Ross. If you love the West, appreciate a good yarn, want to see an example of what a man is, need to see one of the best love stories ever written and turned into flicks, check it out. Conagher

What brought this motion picture to mind for me was a line spoken by the character of Conagher as a fellow was threatening him. Conagher said, "None of us is gettin' out of this alive. That's the only thing man knows about life."

For a day or so, I've been worried about death. Bad news regarding one's heart tends to do that to me. And what is worry? Worry is a form of prayer that attempts to control the future. If we may be scientific for a moment, there is no evidence that I know of proving that worry helps people to live longer.  Quite the opposite, in fact. Worry causes stress and stress is the grease next to that grave-hole hastening one's departure from this world into Worm City.

There is this feeling, though, that if I'm not worrying about dying, the powers of the universe will note that fact and conclude I don't give a crap about living. This view of the powers of the universe casts God, Allah, Jehova, Shiva, or whomever you choose for a Higher Power into the role of a minor government official who needs to be cajoled, flattered, and bribed to renew your license to live.

Everybody dies. How long do I have, is the question, but the only reason for demanding an answer is so I can argue with the results, convince the pwers that be they've made a mistake, thereby carving out a few additional years, days, or hours. In the process of worring about a future death, in addition, I am ignoring my very real present, now, my real life.

I don't know what the outcome of my heart problem will be; I see the cardiologist four hours from now. What I'm not going to be doing during that four hours, or of any of the hours after my visit, is worry about death. I know it's coming. None of us has a lock on the next ten minutes of life. However, if ten minutes are all the time left on my ticket, I want to spend it living.

Today, stay in the present. As Grand Master Oogway pointed out (in Kung Fu Panda) "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called 'the present.'"  Kung Fu Panda


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