I seem to have developed a slightly morbid fascination with death lately, which maybe seems out of place with a blog entitled ‘Happy 2018.’
Only it’s really not so morbid. And it’s actually a great fit.
Let me explain…
In my last role, teaching wellbeing and life-skills in a secondary school, we used to teach a great unit of work on ‘Time.’ Part of the unit involved watching the film, ‘Tuck Everlasting,’ with lots of activities and analysis throughout.
It’s a kid’s movie, based on a kid’s book by Natalie Babbitt. It’s cheesy but it’s pretty lovely too and definitely worth the watch. Take it from me – I taught this to various classes over 3 years, so I’m pretty much an expert now!
Without giving you any spoilers, I’ll tell you that the theme of the movie is immortality. If the movie was a question, it would be:
If you could live forever, would you want to?
When I was younger, like many children and adults, I was fascinated by the thought of either stopping time or living forever. I’d fantasise about all the things I could do and see; the person who I’d become if I had the time to learn and develop skills over several lifetimes. Even the final scene of Death Becomes Her (which got a LOT of viewing in our house) wasn’t enough to put me off. Again….no spoilers.
Somewhere along the way – maybe on the seventeenth viewing of Tuck Everlasting – I decided definitely that living forever would be a curse, not a blessing.
As much as I’d love to become a world-class electric cellist, UFC fighter, award-winning author and all-round awesome person… I know that all of these things would feel dull and rather meaningless after a few hundred years. I know that eventually the novelty would wear off.
Because without death, life really doesn’t have any meaning.
When you take away the risk – of failure, embarrassment, pain or even death…. life seems rather uninteresting all of a sudden.
Remember that the next time you’re about to take a risk and step out of your comfort zone. And know that taking risks is an essential part of being and feeling alive.
Okay – so I know I said no spoilers – but being the super-fan that I am, I couldn’t resist a quote from Tuck Everlasting. So I’ll leave you with the words of Mr. Tuck to young Winnie,
“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an un-lived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”