"The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies, he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, have always existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
"When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is 'So it goes.'" - Billy Pilgrim, in his letter to the fictional Ilium, NY News Leader, in Slaughterhouse Fivee, by Kurt Vonnegut.
I'm re-reading my Vonnegut books, and am currently on this book. I find this passage very profound, especially considering the events of the past few weeks - and the last few years, for that matter.
Another passage from the beginning of the book holds a very deep message:
"I have told my sons that they are not under any circumstances to take part in massacres, and that the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them with satisfaction or glee."
The preoccupation with death in our society is not limited to goths and the depressed. I've heard countless times from fellow Christians how this sect or that lifestyle should come with a death sentence (and how loving and Christian is that?!). Now, I am perfectly aware that some of you are about to hit the email button and tell me how anti-Christian that statement is. I'm not worried, my delete button is alive and well. However, stop and think about it: How far will we get to win the wars against terrorism and other hate crimes if we're contributing to the intolerance ourselves?
And what of the religious beliefs (or non-beliefs, if you prefer) of my favorite author? Personally (and get ready to hit that email button again!), I believe we all have both the choice and the obligation to question our faith. Otherwise, how on earth will you grow in it? And don't forget that your free will is God-given, as well.
Anyway, that's my deeper-than-blonde thought for the day. Now go ponder peacefully amongst yourselves.