Under normal circumstances, if you ever had the option of choosing between life and death, would anyone need to persuade you to choose life?
It should be pretty obvious to whoever is asking you, that it is life you would choose. It is life anyone would choose instead of death. But it looks like this didn’t seem obvious in Bible times when Moses said to the Israelites, “… I set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.”
Every now and again, societies fall into moral depravity. If you read further in the Bible, you will see numerous accounts of those same Israelites abandoning morality, ‘choosing death’, and then being punished for it with destruction. It’s a cycle that keeps going on even today.
Nobody in their right minds would purposely choose death over life. But, you see, the way you choose death is very subtle. It’s not as blatant as when someone puts a gun to your head and asks, “Your money or your life?” It’s way more subtle than that. It’s through tiny, seemingly innocuous everyday life choices that you gradually and inevitably make a choice between life and death. And in some of those cases, choosing death could be even more appealing than choosing life.
Let’s look at 3 areas where individuals and societies may unconsciously choose death over life:
A baby brings new life into a person’s world. It’s not only the fact that the baby itself is a new living being, but that the parent’s outlook on life changes with the introduction of a baby. Some people genuinely do not like kids, even though they were once kids themselves. They sometimes say it out loud and it sounds okay until you think to yourself, how can you not like new life? When people, especially men, are overwhelmed with joy at the presence of a child, it shows an appreciation for life. It shows them embracing and choosing life over death.
When a society begins to encourage: pursuing careers over having children, the termination of pregnancies, sterilization, marital arrangements in which it’s impossible to bear children, population control and the fear that we are fast outgrowing the resources available to take care of us on earth (which has never been proven); that society begins to make the shift from choosing life to choosing death.
Yes, you read that right. The nature of human faeces is essentially death. The amount of non-digestible food matter in it is really quite small. Let’s say about 10% is cellulose which our bodies can’t digest, another 5% is cholesterol and other fats, and another few percentage points are inorganic substances like iron phosphate and calcium phosphate. But the bulk of what passes out of the human anus is death – dead cells, dead stuff. So dead that, unlike animal manure, it will kill plants instead of helping them grow. The anus is the human passageway of death.
The more comfortable you are with faeces, the more you embrace and choose death over life. That’s why the more civilized a society becomes, the more it moves towards proper sanitation like replacing pit latrines with water closets.
When humans get sexually intimate, they ideally do so through the passage ways of life. The man uses his seed-giving organ to interact with the woman through her life-giving organ; the passageway through which babies come – the passageway of life! The more you choose to interact sexually using the passageway of death, the more you embrace and choose death over life. This is not only because you have chosen to be more fixated on the exit cavity of death than on the frontal cavity of life, but because, by doing so, you are making absolutely sure that new life – in the form of a baby – is never the result of that intercourse.
Other levels of comfort such as; defecating in public, not flushing the toilet, having excrement flow away in the open gutters instead of through underground pipes into the septic tank, hurling your own faeces at people like the Occupy Wall Street protesters in the US were known to do; show an embrace of death over life. Not consciously, obviously, but a rather unconscious, gradual slide downwards into eventual comfort with things that are not life-affirming.
When your language focuses more on excreta too, that’s being comfortable around it and embracing death over life. You may be wondering how one’s language focuses on excreta. Well, in polite society and polite circles, there are certain words that are considered foul language. Some of these words reflect an obsession both with faeces and with its passageway of death.
If you are known to use swearwords, then most likely you often use the four-letter word that starts with ‘S’ and ends with ‘T’ when speaking. Sometimes, if you feel like being more polite, you may replace it with another four-letter word that starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘P’. Both words represent faeces and the more comfortable you are with using them in discourse, the more comfortable you are with excreta and all the death it represents. It’s another way of choosing life over death.
When somebody behaves in a way you find offensive, you may refer to them as an ‘a-hole’ or an ‘a’ itself, or a ‘jack-a’. Why the obsession with the anus and what comes out of it? It’s an obsession with death. It’s an unconscious way of choosing death over life.
Using expletives to qualify your nouns during speech is quite indicative of your growing comfort with death. Remember that your tongue has the power of life and death in it, so use it to speak life-affirming words, instead of dirty words of death. Clean up your speech!
A society is only the sum total of its individuals. So also, what pervades in society is a sum of what is allowed to go on in the individual homes that make up that society. When we as individuals decide to do these things that lead us to choose death over life, it slowly pervades our whole society and it degenerates into a society of death – death of dreams, death of ideas, death of values, death of progress and death of civilization. It is when a society reaches this point that it then needs a ‘Moses’ to remind it to choose life and blessings over death and curses. And you can be that Moses everyday by choosing to set the tone for what you want to see in your society.