For Adbusters #60, I was asked to write two pieces on perspectives on "winning" and "losing" the "Game of Life." A difficult project for someone as young and not-yet-wise as I, but I gave it a shot, turning to others as examples, including Scott Nearing, who wrote Living the Good Life: How to Live Simply and Sanely in a Troubled World with his wife Helen in 1954. He embodies integrity--an interior value system inseparable from his outward actions. Here I describe his death:
...In 1983, two weeks after he turned 100, he turned to his wife at the dinner table and said, “I think I won’t eat anymore.” Helen, 20 years his junior, understood. “I think I would do that too. Animals know when to stop. They go off in a corner and leave off food.” He went on a diet of fruit juices for several weeks, then, after ten days and “thin as Gandhi,” cut back to just water. With no doctors or life-saving machines, no strangers at his bedside, Helen watched Scott’s breath slow until his chest was still. His last words were unforced: “All . . . right.” She later recalled, “He was gone out of his body as easily as a leaf drops from the tree in autumn, slowly twisting and falling to the ground.”
“So he returned to his Maker after a long life, well-lived and devoted to the general welfare,” Helen, who lived on the homestead another 12 years, remembered. “He was principled and dedicated all through. He lived at peace with himself and the world because he was in tune: he practiced what he preached. He lived his beliefs. He could die with a good conscience.” A winner.
The Art of Living: http://adbusters.org/the_magazine/60/The_Art_of_Living.html
The Art of Dying:
Artwork featured in essay: http://mnartists.org/work.do?rid=68406
Autograph Project: Hello, My Name Is...
"The Art of Living"/"The Art of Dying"
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