General Question

ETpro's avatar

What makes life worth living to you?

Asked by ETpro (34552points) May 16th, 2010

Galapagos turtles live 150 years give or take. Would you give up the brainpower to think about yourself and your place in the Universe to gain another 75 years or so of life? How about being a bristlecone pine tree? They live 10,000 years, but as far as we know have no sense of even existing, no brain, no thinking at all. What qualities of being alive would you be willing to trade off to gain a longer life span?

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33 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

I’m with the ancient Greek philosophers who felt that only not having been born at all is preferable to dying while an infant.

Coloma's avatar

My friends, lifestyle, nature, pets, just being alive is good, hell, it’s more than plenty!

Right now I am in-joying the most incredible morning on my mountain, animals wandering in the tall green grass, trees magnificent in their spring leafiness, sheep baaing, geese honking, cats hanging out in the sunshine, plants growing, and…a $30 botle of Sonoma County Cab Franc just waiting to be uncorked in a few hours!

Aaaah….life IS fucking great for me in my obscure little hide away today! ;-)

faye's avatar

Fleeting happy moments, times of quiet contentment, the hope that there will be more for me.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’d give up my ability to ride my motorcycle in return for ten more years with my beloved wife.

Jack79's avatar

Nothing right now, but I’m going through the motions hoping things will look up again someday.

LeotCol's avatar

Better to keep things short and sweet than long and lax.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I wouldn’t trade anything. One average life span is enough for me, thanks. In fact, I’d be happy if I could wrap things up at around age 50.

perspicacious's avatar

None. I’ll do my best to keep a sharp mind plus be around a long time.

anartist's avatar

Who the hell would want to live that long? And without consciousness who would possibly care that they did? No one particularly wants to outlive their own generation, their closest connections. Knowing, enjoying, and caring about members of the next generation, coupled with a vibrant interest in one’s own work or interests might be the only thing beyond duty and good manners that keep people going on if they are long-lived.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I live for the man I love, my animals, learning about the things that interest me, the hours of pleasure I get from going to the theatre, listening to live music that I enjoy and even watching my favourite films or tv programmes. I wouldn’t swap any of these things for a longer life.

Scooby's avatar

Nothing at all! ;-/ I just wish to burn as long as I can, enjoying the fruits of my labour, when my times up, it’s up!!

“hey!! I got something to say!! It’s better to burn out than to fade away!!”

SeventhSense's avatar

That which makes life worth living is releasing the attachment to it and experiencing the bliss of pure awareness.

anartist's avatar

@SeventhSense I just saw your picture on PhotoBucket. Aren’t you a little young for “releasing the attachment” to life???????????

SeventhSense's avatar

Oh my baby picture?

anartist's avatar

@SeventhSense looked more like 30something [or possibly 40something, or maybe even 20something].

@dpworkin looks like you gotta go the distance.

SeventhSense's avatar

I’m 43 and there’s more than a touch of gray up there. Don’t misunderstand me though please. Relinquishing an attachment to life is relinquishing an attachment to death and all relative phenomena. I’ve lived much and I think once you taste it there is nothing that compares to our “original state”. Nothing at all compares. Once you experience it there is really nothing more that one could ask for. It can’t be adequately described in words. It’s perfect equanimity. It’s like coming home to a palace with gardens that you didn’t realize was in your backyard.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I wouldn’t trade anything for a longer life, I’ve lived long enough as it is. My reason for living died six months ago. Each day I have to devise some short-term reason to stay alive.

SeventhSense's avatar

OK that’s today.

anartist's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land I am so sorry. And I can’t say that will change. But it might. In the meantime there is at least the responsibility to those who still care about you.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@anartist Sorry to be so maudlin. Ordinary life has no flavor to it without that special person to share it with. The only alternative is to set small goals and milestones to work towards or anticipate: planting a crop, going to my nieces graduation, restoring an old car, tinkering with my thesis, etc. Without something concrete on the horizon, life is utterly meaningless. I’m no longer suicidal, but if I were to drop dead tomorrow, je ne regrette rien.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, I agree with @anartist

Transistions can be and often are, very painful, diffecult.
I divorced 7 yrs. ago after 22 yrs. of marriage. It was my choice, but painful and a death unto itself.

Life is change, nothing lasts forever, surely you have much to give still, and you know what, we are all born again many times in this life.

I think your dark night of the soul will pass, as everything does…what was your passion aside from your wife?

I have happily transistioned into a new way of being over the last 10 years and it’s been very rewarding in it’s own unique way.

The old me and old way of being is gone, and it’s been a helluva good ride!

6 months is not very long when in recovery from great loss.

I predict you will begin to regain your sense of self apart from your marriage and the best IS yet to come!

Be kind to yourself but KNOW THIS….there is light at the end of the tunnel and you have no idea what grand adventures are still in store.

There are NO accidents….just ride the wave and this too shall pass.

You MUST at least TRY to focus on whats yet to come, you might be suprised….old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

Hang in there, one day the sun will shine for you again! ;-)

CaptainHarley's avatar


Come back and see me when you hit 50 ( provided I’m still here ). I’ll bet a year’s pay you’ll have changed your mind by then. : ))

Coloma's avatar


I double that bet!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Coloma Meg really was my only passion. The things we had planned will go on, but in a drab sort of way. I suppose there’s a cautionary tale in this, not to live ones life entirely for the love of one person. I keep trudging forward, but I fear that the light at the end of the tunnel is most likely the headlight of an oncoming locomotive. I’d feel guilty enjoying anything without being able to share it with her.

SeventhSense's avatar

—20 something? Lurve for that. I guess my healthy lifestyle is paying off.

Coloma's avatar


Are you getting any greif counseling?

Trust me…pain is pain….you CAN find your way back to the light!

GO, GO, GO, NOW!!!...get yer arse into some therapy and look forward! Peace to you my friend. ;-)

Coloma's avatar


How eloquently stated, I second that beautiful expression!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Coloma I see a psychiatrist, Paxil is what’s keeping me alive right now. “Talking therapy” doesn’t work for me; Aspergers Syndrome (Meg was a psychologist and diagnosed me). Except for my farm manager, I stay away from other people face to face. The internet is my social world now. Megs friends have tried to draw me out, but it just irritates me.

ETpro's avatar

I won’t do the long list of @s but thanks so much to everyone. Lurve to you all. Your thoughts and sharing has inspired me. And I agree with all who said that I wouldn’t sacrifice an iota of consciousness, however ephemeral it may be, for all the days a bristlecone pine lives.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

The prospect of a great and fulfilling life. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t make any value judegement on my life. I just wake up every day and think about how I will make this day another happy day, and not think about any future days. When I do take time to stop and think about the future, I choose to believe I will live to see my 100 birthday, if not more.

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