The Show Must Go On
Imagine a play where no character took their exit. No bow is taken. No grand finale of a character arc fulfilled. This seems like it would be a dull production, devoid of the fundamental realization that defines humanity — the recognition of our mortality.
We may mourn those who die and experience sadness in their death, but these emotions ultimately come from the celebration of life. Like the death of a beloved character in a movie or play, our mourning of their death springs from our celebration of their life and what their character represents.
We commonly think of death as an unfortunate end and something to be avoided. But what if death could be avoided?
Imagine a story where no one died. No death, no loss, no mourning… and no life.
The best stories are those that cover the full range of our human experience — including death.
Death gives life meaning. Without death, what does life mean? Without darkness, how can we understand light? Without bad, how can we understand good? The same contrast goes for life and death. Both are an empty word without their opposite. We need life to understand death, and death to understand life. The end gives meaning to the present.
And the present is all we have. So why not make the present good?
It seems to me that life is like a grand drama. So many characters and stories playing their parts and shaping the world. History unfolds like a symphony of sound and a beautiful harmony of patterns. The characters may change, but the story remains the same. When we observe human history and the lives of those who came before us, their worries and anxieties seem small compared to the big picture they were a part of. Whether these characters like it or not, the world goes on and life continues.
In the big picture, what shines through history is the progression and the continuation against the struggles of life. What matters is the courage to stand against the hellstorm of life and continually rise after each time we fall. The commitment to make life good despite our traumatic past and tragic future is the story of humanity.
This grand play will continue and you are a character. Soon enough, your time will come to take a bow. Live your life so that in this moment, will you be proud of your performance and the character you played.
What character are you playing?
In the words of Walt Whitman, “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”
What will your verse be?