One of the things that occurred to me, at the Ai Wei Wei exhibition I attended earlier this week is that the artist, pulling on the tail of a notoriously fickle tiger that is the Chinese State seems to have no fear of dying.
That though is probably over simplistic. Can we, any of us, really have no fear of it being arbitrarily imposed? I understand people can reconcile themselves to it after a long life. They can welcome it if ill or wasting in ways they find intolerable.
But a healthy person with so much still to do… how do they balance the wish to continue to live with the sangfroid that allows them to live in a ways that might accelerate their death?
Which it seems to me, is about principle. If you have such strong principles that you are prepared, truly prepared to die for them then yes you can live that way. Personally I’ve never had such principles. Or maybe it would be better to say I’ve never been put in a position where such principles are tested. And I suppose it is human to wonder how I would react? How noble or ignoble would be my reactions. I’d love to think I’d be the brave one but I rather suspect I’m in Spike Milligan’s camp