Caleb

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“...{I}n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” (Benjamin Franklin). We’re all aware of our taxes: whether it be the six cents we pay on dollar menu items, or the amount deducted from our paychecks, taxes are in front of us near constantly. With death, however, there’s a certain detachment that is carried in the western world, with murder (both fictional and real) being regarded as a passing occurrence; war in foreign countries being disregarded, and an overall indifference to death unless it’s immediately available to us. This is why I believe that death is something more people need to learn about, as this casual attitude towards the end of life can lead to the deaths of everyone.

To learn about death, its important to take into account the pain that death causes, both physically and emotionally. Physically, dying can be extremely painful (much more than we realize). For example, starvation, common throughout the world, is one of the most sickening ways to die, as your body breaks itself down, the skin cracks, fungi grows under your throat, and you eventually become too weak to move, signaling your death. The lack of understanding on the pain of death allows us to disregard starvation as a minor issue, with over three million children dying worldwide due to hunger. If we were to experience or learn of the physical aspect of death, it’s certain that we would do all we can to prevent it.

Emotionally, the pathway to death can be very painful. Life can loses meaning, everyday tasks may become difficult, and there’s often a sense of isolation when feeling the effects of another’s death or being near-death yourself. Without the proper support, insanity is likely to ensue, which could lead to self-harm or the harm of others. Additionally, the fear of death (which can be caused by excessive violence towards a group) can lead to further complications, from civil war to rioting. It’s fundamental that we understand two principles: that the act of killing someone should not be taken lightly, and that those affected by death need support more than anything else. The animosity between African Americans and the police is a clear example of the effect that devaluing death has had, as deadly weapons have been employed far too liberally. If we come to understand this facet of death, we will begin to take on a mindset of healing and peace, rather than violence.

People need to know about death to create a world where violence and death is minimized. The closer we come to understanding and comprehending death both mentally and physically, we move towards a better future for all. Therefore, I believe that death is what individuals should be educated on more than anything else.