Feature > Short Stories > GROWING UP GRACEFULLY! BY ALI PARSA
No one likes to grow old or die, yet we all know that no one gets out of this world alive! This is just another interesting part of being human. The reality is that death is inevitable whether we like it or not. In Farsi we call this Aasheh khalateh, Bokhori Pateh, Nakhori Pateh.” By recognizing the inevitability of death we can find ways to reduce the stress associated with the process and even enjoy it. This beautiful short essay I am about to share with you is one example of those ways. It is written by the British-Irish philosopher, writer, mathematician and Noble Prize winner who lived in 1867-1935.
“How To Grow Old'
Some people are oppressed by the fear of death. In the young there is a justification for this feeling. Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer.
But in an old man who has known human joys ans sorrows, and has achieved whatever work it was in him to do, the fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble. The best way to overcome it at least it seems to me is to make your interestsgradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life.
An individual human existence should be like a river-small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past boulders and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without visible break, they become merged with the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.
The old man who, in old age, can see his life in this way will not suffer from the fear of death, si
nce the things he cares for will continue..and if, with the decay of vitality weariness increases, the thought of rest will be not unwelcome. I would wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can do, and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.”
I admire the soundness of philosophy and beauty of the essay. His reference only to men is understandable considering the time it was written.
It is also noteworthy that some 700 years before Mr. Russel, the great Persian Mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam was an avid advocate of universalism and oneness of all existence. The following is one piece of rubaiiat I translated as an evidence: As this site does not support Persian text I have to suffice only with my translation of that robaii:
An unhappy raindrop said, ”look at me,
I’m not even the size of a pea.”
As it fell into the sea it shouted with glee,
“ Look everyone, I AM THE SEA!.”
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