Death, throughout the millennia, has made its message loud and clear; “I take all, I leave none.” To this day, he keeps his word; all he took, and none he left. Every sentient creature spends its life attempting to avoid the unavoidable, but when the Harvester swings his thirsty sickle, he never misses.
Now, imagine a man who has never known about death. At all. Not even as an afterthought. He was never told, he was never taught, and for whatever reason, the very idea of that infamous inevitability has never even occurred to him.
Picture his childhood. A child who was not told, was not taught, and could not figure it out. Would his days have been more joyful or more sorrowful? Adventurous? Disobedient? Mischievous? Or perhaps, simply normal?
His adulthood. A grown man –who has a job, a family, hopes and dreams– does not know of the crypt he so aimlessly prances towards. How would he spend his days and nights? How would he treat his friends? His family? His wife and children? Cruel? Merciless? Homicidal? Would he even think of murder if he never knew there was an end? Or perhaps, simply normal?
Envision yourself telling him that undeniable fact. That one day, and one day very soon, he will die. That the older he grew, the closer he crept to the edge of the cliff, where we are all pushed into the hungering abyss.
“What is ‘die’?” he asks you innocently.
Remembering everyone and everything death has ever taken from you, you tell him exactly what death is.
Would he believe you? Would he laugh and shrug it off as an impossibility? Or would the truth finally hit him like a ton of bricks?
Prove it to him. Kill an animal before his eyes. Its body shudders as the precious soul seeps out like an impalpable gas. He now knows. He now believes. He now realizes.
The bitter afterthought that we all forbid our brains from processing –for fear it would overwhelm us– is now all he could think of.
How would he react? Curl up next to the carcass and wait? Try to live what precious little time he has left as fervently as he could? Run into the streets and repeatedly yell the truth of mortality, thinking it was news to everyone else as they were news to him minutes ago? Or perhaps, he would be happy? Happy to know there is an end to it all?
Would you have told him in the first place? Unleashed him from the cradle of his lethal ignorance?
Or would you have kept it to yourself? Giving him the greatest surprise of his entire lifetime?