Death is a beautiful thing.
Before you worry about the state of my mind or think I am suicidal, hear me out..
No matter the kind of a person, death has the magical power to suddenly elevate anybody dead to a superhuman status. It flattens out the rough contours of one’s personality when alive, to make one an enviable human being.
Death makes us see the person in a different light. Mostly positive. Sometimes that perspective is rooted in reality, and sometimes, just a figment of one’s imagination.
No matter the reason, death regards the person dead as everyone’s best friend. A sage and an affable person who only knew how to give, who loved without condition, who always did something for friends/society. Above all, someone who made an impact and left a legacy behind.
If you need any proof of that, just read the eulogies. And, the exaggerations we sprinkle in it. The same person no one could stand suddenly turns out to be the biggest source of inspiration humankind has ever seen.
Open any newspaper after the death of a (in)famous politician. Especially whose career was riddled with, let say something unknown to politicians, umm…corruption charges. Only to find death has made them descendant of Saint Thou-Shall-Uplift-The-Mankind.
I know we don’t speak of the dead in a way which dehumanizes their life. And, we shouldn’t. That is not my intent here.
I was merely thinking — what if we focussed more on a person’s positive qualities (not the fake ones) when the person was alive? What kind of impact would it have on their life?
You guessed it right- a life full of affection, and admiration.
A life where they wouldn’t be riddled with self doubt on their worth. A life where the mental chatter on ‘am I being taken for granted? Why am I so misunderstood? Can’t I make anyone happy? Is my life even making a difference? ‘ would be less. Imagine how much precious brain power would free up, allowing for more good things to be done.
I’m not sure how their overall life would pan out but they might die contended because of the immense positive validation they received throughout their life. A life where they wouldn’t have to be dead just to hear people extol their virtues!
So, here’s what I say- how about we exchange the two beginning today? Speak more about people’s positive qualities when they are alive, and share their rough edges when they pass away.