Pain, illness and death are part of the nature of this planet. Yet they are regularly seen as an anomaly. The dominant propaganda makes us believe that life is beautiful, so when it isn’t, it follows that you are doing something wrong. So you have to blame someone: you or others.
Pain, illness and death are the most obvious, realistic and pragmatic traits of human life. Everyone sooner or later suffers, gets sick and eventually dies. We have many fantasies, beautiful ideas and ambitions, but when death comes, everything changes radically and permanently.
Since pain, illness and death are inevitable in this world, our responsibility is to do our best to alleviate them. In order to do this, we need to stop believing that pain, illness and death are something wrong. We need to stop waging wars on death and fighting for survival at all costs. In particular, we need to stop viewing people who are ill or about to die as losers. The most stupid and offensive thing that can be said about someone who is about to die is: “he didn’t make it” or “she lost the battle against cancer, Covid, etc.” But for what crazy and perverse reason, people define a dying person as a loser? On the other hand, the one who “wins the battle against cancer, Covid, etc.”, the one who “made it” becomes the hero. Not to mention those truly repugnant people who for every illness or death of someone try to find reasons attributable to their deficiencies, character or spiritual inequities!
The most horrible thing in this world in my view is not pain, disease and death, but the fact that those who suffer, are sick or die have also to feel ashamed and believe that I are a failure.
“My thesis is that illness is not a metaphor, that the most correct way to consider it – and the healthiest way to be sick – is the one freest and most alien to metaphorical thoughts” (Susan Sontag)