Whose life or death is it anyway?

We may be ungrateful for what we have because we think we deserve more. In the process, we forget to ask ourselves – who owes us anything at all? When our plans are left to die in the gutter, is there a someone we can hold accountable?

thanos-4194122_1280If our tireless efforts go south, whose collar can we wring and demand justice? Likewise, in case good things unexpectedly happen– is there anyone we should feel indebted to?

Chances are the world does not even know that we exist, which makes our sense of entitlement to its support a tad strange. We are its service tenants, but we divide ourselves into landlords and slaves. For all it cares, Thanos could snap his fingers a few more times.

“Don’t fall into the common error of supposing that the world owes you a living. It doesn’t owe you anything of the kind. It didn’t send for you; it never asked you to come here, and in no sense is it obliged to support you now that you are here”

Robert Burdette in ‘Advice to a Young Man’ (1883)

Science cannot help us speculate what must have gone through this rodent’s mind, as the Black-Winged Kite gobbled it down. But its death seemed uneventful. The mouse bid adieu without a fuss. Its loved ones were not around to eulogize the life it had led. Handshakes, hugs, laughs, and tears were not exchanged. There were no loose ends to be tied. Death just happened.

The kite had little to add beyond a piercing note. Considering its hunting prowess, it had probably faced fiercer competition in the past.

As for the rodent, death just happened. Now, all that remains is a photograph.

In our communities, we make a song and dance, literally, about bereavement. There are LED lights, prayers, snacks, and music. We expect some sort of a theatrical closure. Some spare no expense in blowing it up. Even death has us fighting for creative control over life’s narrative. We feel entitled. Like we do when alive and kicking.

Black-Winged Kite

The kite and the rodent did not know their paths were going to cross that day. Neither fate nor luck had a role to play in their meeting. Nobody complained that it happened, though.

In our case, it may not be a miracle that we are here. But there is some charm to it. We can even make something of it. The first step is to forgo the feeling of entitlement over how things are supposed to work out.

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4 thoughts on “Whose life or death is it anyway?

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  1. ‘Death just happened.’ I never quite understood why we need for everything to have a purpose in our plan. The mouse? Food for kite. My death? Relief for the planet’s resources (perhaps).

    We are part and parcel to nature, whether we like to admit or not. For the time being, we are using earth’s resources to remove ourselves from the more unpleasant aspects of that relationship, but mother won’t let us go for long. We’d better play more nicely.

    PS – I look forward to the Mississippi Kites returning to our neighborhood each year to raise their families. Not mice, but cicadas is what they crave .. plucked straight out of the air, they are. Death just happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woaw, dear friend, leave it to you to stir me up! If there’s one thing I want to say now, it’s a pair of Mississippi Kites catching cicadas in mid-air. How do they do it! Do they catch them with their beaks?

      This ❤ “we are using earth’s resources to remove ourselves from the more unpleasant aspects of that relationship”.


    1. Aww how sweet of you ask. Well, it’s a doozy of a situation. The problem is bad, but it isn’t as dramatic as the media outlets have made it out to be. We’ve had an awful year – weather-wise – hence we need more rains than usual. I feel embarrassed because so many have suffered more because of it. I live in a gated community, so our water supply was cut off for a few hours – other than that, things were okay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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