MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

September 24, 2009

Facing Mortality: We All End Up That Way In The End

One of the many aspects of the human personality, at least the Western/American personality, I just don't understand is the lack of acceptance of our own mortality. No one will live forever (not even sure I would want to if possible anyway). Sooner or later we all will die. Hopefully much much later than sooner. But, as the ling-run economists say, in the end we're all food for worms.

I can understand that realizing your inevitable death isn't a pleasant thought for many. And when you're young that day seems sooooooooooo far way (though an accident can befall anyone at any time and bring that day to now). So the very young I will give a temporary pass to on the subject.

But for the rest – Wake up!

I just don't understand how grown people - supposedly adults – married, often with children, a house or other significant property/assets, just refuses to deal with the reality of their eventual demise.

Even if you don't care about yourself what of the rest of your family? Your spouse? Your kids?
But no. Won't lift a finger to have a will made even by one of those cheapo online services much less go to an experienced estate planner or lawyer.

I had a conversation with a woman who was recently divorced after 20 years of marriage. She had custody of her 3 early-teen children, one of whom had a physical disability. I mentioned to her the idea of needing a will now that she was the sole legal caretaker for her children. She said she didn’t' see the need. I mentioned that at least with a good will she could protect the money she received from the divorce and ensure her wishes as far as final arrangements were planned out. She said she didn’t want a big funeral but instead a simply service and cremation. When I pointed out that even a basic service at a chapel and cremation could still cost thousands of dollars she gave the typical deer-in-the-headlight stare. I then added who did she expect to pay for all that – her teenage kids? To which she responded by shrugging her shoulders and saying "Eh." I didn't bother going on from there.

In her case I try to cut some slack figuring she's going through a very stressful period and may be overwhelmed at the moment. But the fact remains she is the sole provider now for her kids (child support from her ex-hubby not withstanding) so I would hope she'd have a better answer that just "Eh"! Not holding my breath that she will change her attitude later.

But she is far from alone in this I-don't-care attitude. Perhaps it's just part of the apparent evolution of our culture in that fewer and fewer people care to bother taking responsibility for themselves and their lives; That more and more people have the attitude that "someone" (probably government) will take care of them. There are more important things to concern yourself with like having a good time playing Xbox and going to the beach.

The end is coming for all of us eventually. Choose to meet it like the adult you're supposed to be!

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