Thursday, May 12, 2011

On Life and Living

"Deep inside all of us, we know there is someone we were meant to be.  And we can feel when we're becoming that person.  The reverse is also true.  We know when something's off and we're not the person we were meant to be."
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler (Life Lessons: How Our Mortality Can Teach Us About Life and Living)

Comment: Kübler-Ross is best known for her classic study entitled "On Death and Dying" (1969).  The above quote comes from her 2001 book with a former student (Kessler) and despite all its pop-culture feel-goodisms there is some peering wisdom offered.

I started reading Kübler-Ross' 1969 classic in the early 80s when I was an undergraduate student.  I read it again recently alongside "Life Lessons" and I remain impressed with her pioneering audacity to ask the dying to define (their) death.

I don't expect that the dying are any more profound about death than those who are not dying (yet).  But I like the notion or interrogating death if even for the purpose of living.

I do, however, remain skeptical that there is an inner truism (an intended being/life) that must be found or rather discovered (the liberal quest for individual identity).

Nonetheless, I like that the body of Kübler-Ross' work 'lives on' as a testament of her will to advocate for a meaningful life over stupefied existence (being metaphorically dead).

To life and real meaning ...


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