avevale_intelligencer: (bitmoji)
[personal profile] avevale_intelligencer
[livejournal.com profile] watervole responded quite impassionedly to my suggestion for some dialogue that I would quite like to see in a movie, in response to a certain rather tired cliché that I have encountered rather too often in various forms of fiction, and most recently in Doctor Strange, which we otherwise enjoyed quite a lot. She seemed to think I had missed the point of the statement. Since the point she thought I had missed was stated in the immediately following line, I rather think I did get it. I just didn't agree with it.

Quick show of hands. How many of you here reading this (not many any more, I know) actually treat every single moment of your lives as precious? How many fill each and every unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run? How many live every day as if it might be your last? Every moment? Every minute? Every day? Honestly?

Can't see your hands, of course, but I'm open to the idea that I'm the only one here who ever gets bored, ever feels dull and uninspired, ever gets tired and just wants to stop. I've always known I was deficient in many ways, and if I was alone in that terrible vulnerability that wouldn't surprise me. But if by some chance I'm not, if there are others of you out there who have black moments and terrible quarter-hours and days when you just want it all to be over, tell me this: how does it make you feel when someone tells you that you should really regard every moment of your life as precious because it might end at any minute?

Exactly. It's rubbish. As a reason for valuing your life, it's among the least rational of all. When (not, thank gods, if) I have times when my life seems precious to me, it's because I have friends and family, chosen and unchosen, whom I love, and because I have things to say that I think need saying and music to make that I think will make the world just a tiny fraction richer and people whom I believe I could make laugh if I could just get the words in the right order, and because there is more to see and more to do and more to experience, and the notion that all that could be chopped off at any moment by a random stroke of fate...just makes the whole thing seem even more pointless. Half the time when I want to die it's because I know that I'm going to, at some point, and when it happens I probably won't be ready anyway, so it might as well be now when I'm as ready as I'm going to be. What can I say, depression isn't logical.

Life isn't gold. It isn't some useless metal that only has value because it's scarce. Life has value for a whole host of reasons, and the fact that it will end is not one of them. So no. Death does not even give life meaning in that way. It just takes it away. And if you are so far down that the only reason you could possibly have for valuing your life is its temporariness...then that's not going to do it for you either. Trust me on this.

And I wouldn't have gone any further into this, except that a piece of speculative movie dialogue got mistaken for a serious philosophical essay. Which is probably my fault, for not making it clearer what I was doing. I'm sorry. But I stand by what I've said in both posts.

Date: 2017-03-10 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lexin.livejournal.com
how does it make you feel when someone tells you that you should really regard every moment of your life as precious because it might end at any minute?

I get really annoyed when someone tries that one on me, because I've been suicidal and I know how it feels, and regarding every minute of my life as special was not the thing which prevented me carrying out my daft plan to end it all.

What actually stopped me was being put on the right drugs to lift my spirits from the doldrums and having someone to talk to, a therapist in fact, who took me seriously, and was there, for me, for two hours a week. Plus, there was having my mental illness properly identified for what it is.

I'm still on the drugs, and they're still working.

Oh, and having a cat. Smokey has helped immensely. There's a lovely little picture here of a cat's gravestone, which expresses what many people think of their pets and what I think of Smokey.
Edited Date: 2017-03-10 09:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-03-11 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mundungus42.livejournal.com
I thiink we're all aware that we should live every day as if it were our last, but honestly, that pithy nonsense occupies the same shelf as the old chestnut about doing what you love: it comes from an incredible place of privilege. The thing about almost all work is that it is WORK. It's not meant to be fun. It's shit that other people don't want to do. Even those with gifts, those with skills--if one lives in a capitalist society, especially one that doesn't value the arts, a day job is needed.

I am so grateful that you have the ability to talk yourself out of dire things, becaues you have os much wit, so many gifts, such great heart that you desire to give to the world. Your stories are stories that only you can tell,and I look forward to hearing them.

*hugs you tightly*

Date: 2017-03-11 08:05 am (UTC)
howeird: (localhost)
From: [personal profile] howeird
Never had deep dark depressing times, but still the suggestion that every moment is precious makes me want to puke. I do have two friends who treat every day as if it was their last. One was clinically dead after a plane crash, the other just had a leg amputated. Neither of them try to foist that philosophy on others. The former dealt with it by earning his instrument flying rating, the other is producing community theater musicals now that his audition prospects are limited.

Date: 2017-03-12 11:02 am (UTC)
ext_15862: (Default)
From: [identity profile] watervole.livejournal.com
Now you're arguing in context, and making it clear which interpretation you're arguing against. Hence, I mostly agree with what you're saying.

Much of life is dross. I struggle endlessly against asthma and the side-effects of the medication that enables me to breathe. Even that days that have good things in them (of which there are fortunately many) are dulled by the tiredness/pain/wheeziness/voice loss.

Life has no point to it. I mean that in an abstract, scientific, evolutionary sense. Life only exists to create more life -and even that isn't a purpose, it's simply a result of that fact that reproduction usually passes on the ability to reproduce.

However, from a personal angle, I have some hours and minutes that I want to fill as much as possible. Time spent with my granddaughter is precious and I would not miss any time that I can spend dancing.

When I am no longer able to dance and can no longer recognise my granddaughter, please put me out of my misery and shoot me.

I'm a strong believer in right to die legislation.


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