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Our young need to learn how to die

JUNE 21 — Life is hard, living is hard. Thus it is not surprising that radical terror groups so easily seduce young people with the promise of a glorious death.

Why live, burdened with the weariness of work, bills and meanness “honest toil” brings? Suicide bombers are promised an end to that drudgery as well as a means to leave their mark, quite literally, on the world.

“Suck it up, life is hard, deal with it” is the mantra often professed by the older and apparently wiser among us.

Thing is, the world is not what it was and the future is truly terrifying.

On one hand, we have the promise of space travel but alas, it is just a pastime for the rich.

The future is less terrifying when you’re the one with money and power.

We live so much longer than we used to. These days, too many of us can expect to live past our 80s and rather than retire in our 50s, working well into our 60s might just be a horrible necessity.

Can you blame our young for not wanting to live any longer? 

When life is so miserable, how can you blame people wanting to find a meaningful death that is less painful than the poisoned gift of longevity? With healthcare costs spiralling and insurance projected to no longer be able to cover more than half those costs in the future, can you blame the people who no longer want to live?

What then do we do? The obvious thing to do, of course, is to make life more meaningful. To not make the world a living hell for the disenfranchised, while still being a playground for the overly monied. 

To pay less heed to the voices of those who are more obsessed with balancing budgets than preserving lives.

Money shouldn’t determine whether a person deserves to live or die.

At the very least though, if we can’t make life better for everyone, we should at least make a natural death a desired outcome. Anyone at the end of their lives deserve to die in comfort, dignity and peace. I’m not talking about assisted suicide, but the fact that pastoral care for the dying is not a guaranteed right.

The homeless and disenfranchised shouldn’t be left to die, alone, without shelter or company. 

There is so much to do for the living, we forget about those who are dying. 

If we can promise anyone, everyone the right to die with dignity then maybe, just maybe we won’t find those seeking to leave too soon.

And maybe we can start with creating a world where people won’t think it’s morally wrong to ensure that everyone is taken care of, from cradle to grave.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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