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To Live or to Die

I have been a human for quite a long time now, and I have read and heard all the stories of heroes and cowards, of kings and beggars, of leaders and soldiers and it shocked me to figure out that in all those stories I heard and read, the heroes die and the cowards live; beggars die and kings live, and soldiers die for leaders to live. Bullets do not usually hit the mind and eyes, but the hands and limbs which do all the work and answer all the calls without seeing exactly where they are going.

I have heard the stories about the too many reasons a man, for which, should die. You must die for your country; you must die for your family; you must die for your friends; you must die has become a story that never ends until I stopped a while and thought to myself: After this long time I have been a human, I can die now knowing that I have learned all the reasons I can die for, but none for which I can live, so I had better die now because I only know the reasons for which I had better die.

But to die or not to die made me postpone my day of judgment a little longer and look at the other side of the story: the story of survivors. Most of them were branded cowards, traitors, or nobodies. For not having died for something or someone, they were outcast and treated as aliens, except those for whom people are ready to die. I couldn’t see them as cowards, nobodies, or traitors; maybe because I am one of them, and then where is the sin in learning how to live; how to survive? What is the treachery in knowing why we are here, and when we are aware that we are not here to end our lives we live for it? What is the point of this long human tradition that says the survival of the few depends on the destruction of the mass? What is the use of the shepherd if he leads us right to the wolf’s fangs? What is it that we are still waiting to learn from them? They will never tell us the truth and they will keep convincing us that we were born to sacrifice our lives for the sake of whatever’s survival, for their survival.

I choose to live not because I do not value the sacrifices of brothers and sisters, but because I can do less from the other side of the Styx. I choose to live not because I fear death, but because I value life more. I elect to live for whom I love for I am far less useful for them when I perish and die. I choose to live not because I am a coward, but because I have found the courage to stand up and fight a lifetime, not a single battle. I choose to live not because I hate death, but because I love life more, and when death comes, I will face it and embrace it like a man, but forgive me, my friends, I don’t miss it so much that I would run towards it at any time. Death comes to us all, all we have to do is to live until it does.

May 7, 2013

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