Sunday, December 21, 2008

Every Death Is A Learning Experience

Sometimes two or more separate events come together to shed a ray of insight into an existence that is otherwise like looking through a clouded window.

Item 1: In Battlestar Galactica, when a Cylon dies, they are reborn on a resurrection ship, if one is within range. In an episode (I forget which one) a couple of years ago, one of the Cylons stated that every death is a learning experience.

Item 2: An accident on Tuesday claims the lives of three coworkers.

Item 3: At a Christmas party on Saturday, I was talking with one of my nephews about things that his dad would get really upset about if he ever caught him doing. One of my wife’s uncles commented that it meant his dad had probably done those things and learned his lessons from them, to which I commented that it is always better to learn from the mistakes of others than to make those same mistakes yourself.

Suddenly, a silver thread ties the three together. Every death is a learning experience, but it isn’t our death from which we learn. Every person we know that dies leaves something behind. There is always a lesson to be learned, either in how that person lived his life and affected those around him, or in how I interacted with that person. Every death can tell me something about how I should live, and I’m much better off if I learn those lessons from others before I have to face it personally.

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