We have all, from time to time, ask ourselves and others for the meaning and purpose of life. From Darwin to Mohammad, from Buddha to Jesus Christ...from Jehovah Witness to the Reverend Jim Jones...everyone will have their say. What you make of it all is for you to decide with or without the benefit of common sense and hindsight....and I say hindsight because at the moment of death, if given the opportunity, I am sure most of you would have your druthers.
It is not my intent to give clarity as to the meaning or purpose of life....I just want to be happy in my life and gracious to others with whom I have to live with.....and talking about the meaning and purpose of life is the surest way to not be happy and not be gracious to others with whom I have to live with.
What plays in my mind over and over again is simply this : some time in the immediate future (for after all I am already 70!) I will no longer be alive. ...that sounds better than saying I will be dead! Increasingly that thought occupies my mind and when it does I reach out into the past to see how others deal with death.
For me, how Saddam Hussein faced his end, tells us much about the strength and character of the man. Throughout his trial he defended himself against an America that invaded his country and put him on trial in his own country with the express intent of killing him asap. He knew he would not win in court, he knew he would be executed and he made a decision to be courageous in his defence and courageous come what may. And if you want to see the courage of any man or women...it is when he or she is facing imminent and certain death...and in facing death, Saddam was indeed courageous.
Not so Hitler, not so Qaddafi. Not Ceausescu because their last conscious moment of life was without courage or grace.
I don't know why I think these thoughts. There is no fear of death in me....no fear of what is to come after death...not even are there any unanswered questions about what is to come after death within me...none! It is simply thinking about what is certainly going to happen to me in the not too distant future and an attempt to rationalise what I do, what I can do and what I should do to ready myself for that eventuality.
And the hope that when I know that death is near, I can be as courageous as Saddam was when he faced his own end.