Serious as a Heart Attack

“Who will take responsibility for raising the next generation?”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Serious as a Heart Attack

We know it can happen at any time, right?

The thirty year-old jogger collapses in the park. The celebrant’s bullet falls two miles away. The young woman who pulled weeds in the garden gets a clot in her leg and dies within thirty minutes. A general orders a button to be pushed. The grand piano falls out of a thirty floor window.

The hand of God reaches down and squeezes your heart so hard that you fall to your knees and you learn to pray, with feeling.

Michael Crichton, before he was the novelist behind The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park, was attending Harvard’s Medical School. He visited patients who had suffered heart attacks and asked them why. He got answers like, “I am getting a divorce” or “I was denied a promotion”.

He leaves it there as a kind of suggestion that the reasons are external and that is possible. I’m guessing that those guys knew exactly why they had a heart attack and were in the “not my fault” mode. It is human nature to blame someone besides yourself.

Life is cheap. What is one less ant on the anthill? Life can come a great cost as well. People die, it happens every day. For some, death is a relief.

But that does not mean that life and death does not have meaning.

My life means a lot to me.

Your life means a lot to me too.


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