30 January 2012

Food for Worms

I'd like to think that one day I'll be food for worms, as Robin Williams' character in Dead Poets Society tells his young students that they one day will be.  It's kind of a nice thought that one day, when I'm no longer using this body, it will be used by worms for sustenance, starting out the amazing food cycle that keeps this world in balance.  If worms eat from my body (and it won't be mine after I'm dead), and they're then eaten by birds or snakes, who are then eaten by some other animals who are in turn. . . .  You get the point, right?  In any case, I like to think that one day this body will contribute to the world on a very basic level--hopefully after I've contributed as a person on somewhat more than a basic level.

I think it's a healthy perspective to keep in mind that this body of ours one day will serve no real purpose other than to act as food for other beings or plants.  Unfortunately, we as humans have pulled ourselves out of the food chain, locking these bodies up in sealed boxes so that we can't be part of the circle of life once we pass on, so there's a good chance that my body won't contribute anything to the world I live in.  All of the nutrients that are wrapped up in my skin and flesh will simply deteriorate without nourishing any other animals who would be more than glad for the meal.  But if I keep in mind that this body really doesn't have anything more in its very long-term future than the possibility of feeding other animals, then I won't grow to attached to it, and I'll always remember that my immortal spirit is simply here for a time, using this body as a means to learn and to experience and to grow.

"Food for worms."  A lot of people would find this idea distasteful and unpleasant.  Others of us, though, find such an idea to be a great reminder of the importance of getting the most out of every day, of living our lives fully and exploring all we can of this world and its wonders and its peoples while we still have a chance, while these bodies still are part of who we are, before they become the food for worms that they always have been destined to be.

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