The meaning of life in 8 words...

Know Christ. Know Life. No Christ. No life.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

...A friendly notification letter from Professor You. R. Dead...

You just received this in the mail....
Dear Sir/Madam
It is with great pleasure that I inform you that you will be dead in 60 seconds. You have not been picked for any personal reason, but rather you have been randomly selected out of the rest of the world population for this event. In the last second, 1.7 people* have died somewhere in this world. At the end of this 60 seconds, 104* other people internationally will also die with you. Within the hour, all of you newly dead persons will be joined with a further 6180 people*.

Please do not to worry as death is a very common event. It happens all the time. By the end of this 24 hour period, commonly known as 1 day, you will simply be 1 of the 150 835 people to die today*. No big deal really. Death happens to everyone, everwhere, at some stage in their short life here on earth.

We cannot provide you with any guidance or assistance once you are dead, only while you are alive. Our aim is to provide you with this short notice of this major life-changing event that will be taking place in your life in less than 1 minute so that you can quickly complete any unfinished tasks.

Once you are dead, you may experience enthusiastic joy, crazy happiness and wild peace because you have no regrets. You made the right choices. The right decisions. Said the right things. Did the right things. Obviously, it is completely understandably that you have not always done everything correctly - that would be impossible for us mere humans (who have the potential to make mistakes). But regardless of your fears and failures, you have demonstrated humility in acknowledging these misgivings and actively pursuing change in that attitude or situation. Rather than throwing a pity-party for yourself, you have made a "U-turn" by trying to do the right thing. Say the right thing. Make the right choice.

Conversely you may experience unimaginable tortment because of regrets over what could have been. What you could have done. What you could have said. What choices you could have made. But choices can only be made in this life. Hence we hope that this notification will enable to you to amend anything that you would like to, or on a more personal note, need to accomplish before you die.

If you have read this far, 50 seconds of your 60 seconds of remaining existance in this life has already expired. We hope that with the remaining 10 seconds you are able to accomplish all that you need to do in order to have no regrets once dead. That you can whole-heartedly die thinking "Mission Accomplished. I have run this race." If not, you now have the remaining 5 seconds to do so.
Until we meet after I & my colleagues die, we wish you all the best in your future endeavour.

Kind regards,

Professor You R. Dead
Chief Executive Officer
The International Centre of Here Today & Gone Tomorrow
123 Homerun Rd,
Laststop, BYE
The Democratic Republic of Lifesoveresia
Zip Code 4567
The above statistics were sourced from the US Census Bureau - World Vital Events, available at and are for the year 2008. Please click on the link for the current years data. It changes every year - but unsurprisingly is still equally intriguing...  

Quite confronting. It is sometimes unimaginable to conceive so many people dying right at this very minute all around the world. But the reality of living is dying. And it is happening all around us all the time.

You do not need to be a person with a terminal illness to know that you are to die. To prepare for death and what is beyond that. You may be in a plane that is about to crash into the ground and only have 3 or 4 minutes at the max to realise this is where it is going to end for you. You may be crossing the road at the traffic lights and have only 3 seconds to realise that the car shooting the red light at 90km/hr is heading right for you and... You are gone before you realise you are gone. You go out to a restaurant to celebrate an event with family and friends. You are allergic to peanuts. In the midst of all the partying and celebrations, you eat a prawn cocktail, not knowing that it was prepared with the same uncleaned utensils used earlier to make a peanut satay dish. Within 2-3 minutes you are gagging for breath, eye-sight blurry, face swelling and throat consticting. As you fall to the floor, your last thoughts are what...? me...? this is it...? And it is - without any adrenaline shots nearby you are stone dead before the ambulance arrives 20mins later.
... ... ... ...
Although we may realise and acknowledge that death is inevitable, we tend to believe that it won't happen to us now though. There are so many things I want to do-like hot air-ballooning, game fishing, scuba-diving, zorb-balling and tight-rope walking. There are so many things that I need to do-like finishing all my ironing, straightening my hair and polishing my car for the 5th time this week. There are so many things I need to see-like the Egyptian pyramids, the Grand Canyon, Montezuma's Ruins and the bird's nest at the top of the Taj Mahal. There are so many people I need to talk to-like my great-aunt, my possible long lost cousin that I am still to find, a friend I met in prep-school and lost contact with after grade 1, the receptionist at the hair salon, the Sandwich artist at the local subway and the Prime Minister's wife's personal assistant. How can I possibly die now? How rude! How inconvenient! That would so get in the way of my life....!

Regardless of the busyness of our lives, whether we admit it or continue to bury our head in the sand like an ostrich, death can and will hit anyone of us down at anytime. Regardless of who we are, to death, we are nothing more than another number. A mere statistic.

But more sobering about this major reality about living in this life, is that we do not have the thoughtful fictious Professor You R. Dead and his colleagues from The International Centre of Here Today & Gone Tomorrow sending us out a 60 second notification about the impending end to our life here. Instead of letting us know in advance, death turns up at the door and sometimes doesn't even bother to knock. And that's it. Game over.

...which brings up the big questions... I ready to die?...

...will I have any regrets?...

You have just taken another like it is your last...

What choice will you make now?


1 comment:

  1. nice reality check on the "what is" and "who are" that really matter in this life.