A Thought on Unpredictable Mortality

It’s hard to argue against people who say society is molded by Hollywood movies or shows. Western society especially.

In any movie or tv show, when someone is given a time until death, it’s a few hours or maybe a few days. Typically no more than a year. A huge part of this is to reflect reality in that the further out we try to predict, the harder it gets.

But what if we did know?

Imagine that you’re 25, totally healthy and no reason to think you’ll die soon. You go to the doctor and they tell you that you’ll die at 50. 100% certainty.

Knowing that you have only 10 days to live can be easier to cope with than having a longer timeframe. You have time to spend money, have great experiences with great people, leave behind positive memories, and hopefully not get upset at anything small.

But how easy would it be to live like that for 25 years? It’s natural for humans to settle back into their default state. Even knowing there’s only 10 days left, a human is guaranteed to get caught in minor frustrations. Someone might have to remind them not to get caught up because how their remaining 10 days’ time spent is precious.

Now imagine having to remind someone about this but tell them that, instead of 10 days, its 25 years. Even 5 years is almost so far ahead in the future that it’s hard to be ever conscious about an impending death.

If I were told I’ll die in 25 years, I would almost ignore it and go about life normally by working and such. Though, I wouldn’t put any money in retirement funds, unless the US government would change my retirement age from 65 to 32.5 to fit my known lifespan.

Almost people expect to live past 50 and even past 80. So, what if you (25 years old) knew you’d die at 80? Does it change anything from knowing you would die at 50? Maybe it would be better not to know until it’s 10 days. But that makes it much harder to cram all the good times in 10 days.

I think the greatest difference between 25 years and 10 days is that within 10 days, you could sleep on friends’ couches and party for 10 nights straight and spend all your money. But 25 years, you gotta have a place to sleep that’s more permanent, and a source of income. There’s no avoiding the mundane routines of life for 25 years. Yes for 10 days, but it gets hard even at a month.

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