I don’t know if you heard the news, but Prince died yesterday. If you didn’t, I’ve got some bad news, Prince died yesterday. Prince, the musician adorned in purple, not some foreign royalty. His death forced me to concentrate on him rather than putting forth the other Pulitzer worthy material I originally had ready to go.
Prince was only 57 or something like that. I didn’t know of any serious illness except the flu or pneumonia kind of recently, I think. Those factors were just a few that served in making the occurrence a fairly big surprise. No one saw this coming.
But also, one big factor serves to make it not at all surprising. Sad yes. Surprising no. The factor is something that we all kind of ignore as long as possible. It only happens when expected, right? That is, WE ALL DIE.
Every single one of us dies. Everyone you have known or will know dies. Even Prince, whose amorphic nature seemed to exempt him from some of the basic human qualities, he died. He was subject to the same rules and, as such, suffered the same fate we all will, thus proving his humanity.
Rather than be surprised at how a life came to an end we should admire the depth of the accomplishment with in that life. I only single out recent famous deaths because those life’s events may be more well known to more people. Specifically look at Glenn Fry, David Bowie, and Garry Shandling. In some ways all these deaths were also surprising. In others they weren’t. But regardless of expectations, look at all they each accomplished in their times and how, if you even tangentially know of them, they somehow touched your life through their work (I’m assuming that you weren’t close friends but I guess who knows). Point is, they each were subject to the same fate as you. No one really knows what continued influence these sound and style servers might have levied. One can predict by projecting the past on the future but all one can really know is what actually happened.
Speaking of predicting, one predicts by looking at repeated behavior from the past and then transferring that behavior to the future. So, since 100% of people have died, one could, to a high degree of certainty, predict a person will die. That, close to certain, outcome dictates that we should change our perspective from one where a death is a surprise to one where, because of assumed death, continued life is a surprise. Then the output from the sum of all the days that didn’t result in death is, in fact, surprising.
The end result is still the same. We are still astounded by the accomplishments achieved in the life. But now, due to a change in perspective, we are surprised by the life instead of surprised by the death.
I feel like that perspective may serve to improve every moment this weekend as it happens instead of solely reflecting upon moments after the fact. So go forth, now armed with a fresh perspective that Prince provided, and savor each moment as they happen because you will die someday, it’s pretty much guaranteed.