Life asked Death, “Death, why do people love me but hate you?” Death responded, “Because you are a beautiful lie and I am the painful truth.” The best gift in life is life itself — don’t let it wilt and wither like a flower, embrace it.

The Nature of Life and Death

Richard Kenneth Eng
2 min readApr 5, 2016


Death comes to all of us eventually, and many of the causes are beyond our control…

  1. Disease
  2. Suicide
  3. Involuntary manslaughter
  4. Accident
  5. Natural disaster
  6. Violent crime
  7. War
  8. Famine

We all want to live forever, but we are constrained by the life of the universe itself–the stars and the galaxies will eventually die, too.

How much life is enough? Eighty-five years? Three hundred years? A thousand years? Ten thousand? You have to draw the line somewhere.

It’s impossible to control how you think and feel for a million years. Somewhere along the way, you may feel bored or tired or unhappy to the extent that you wish to die. A kind of depression may set in motion events that lead to your demise.

All of this is to say that death is not a tragedy. You may not want to die, but not satisfying a desire is not in itself a tragedy.

The time you are given to live your life is simply a gift. It is not unlimited time. And when it is over, that’s that. You will eventually be forgotten, as everyone who has ever known you die as well. If you are fortunate enough to be “immortalized” in stone, or on a plaque of a hospital wing, or a street sign, you will be just a name…a meaningless string of characters. “Meaning” only comes from those who know you.

So if you must face death, face it with dignity, face it with honour, and most of all, face it with gratitude. Your gift is expiring.

The basic questions of life are:

  • How to enjoy your life?
  • How to appreciate the gift of life?
  • What to do with your life?

Here are a few common ways:

  • Help others, or help the world. (Altruism or philanthropy.)
  • Help yourself. (Greed or selfishness.)
  • Raise a family.
  • Start a successful business. (Create jobs and increase the GDP.)
  • Follow your dreams to write, act, dance, make music, paint, sculpt, compete in sports, etc.
  • Become a religious cleric (eg, priest, monk, rabbi, imam, etc.) and pursue spiritual enlightenment.
  • Seek knowledge and sate your curiosity about life and the world.

I love to write. I am curious about the world. I meditate and seek inner peace.

I am happy. But my end will come.

If you live well, then you can die well.