Sunday, December 18, 2011

Living life to the fullest (Christopher Hitchens)

I'm struck by the recent deaths of people who lived life the way they wanted to, regardless of consequences, and how it fits with Buddhist ideas.

One Buddhism principle is to live in the present as that's when life happens. Seems to be a Doh! but many people ignore it. Instead, they endlessly fret about the past or focus on the wonderful life they will have in the future, once retired, assuming they will live long into their retirement years.

This blog features Christopher Hitchens, who died on Dec. 15, 2011 at 62.

Hitchens smoked and drank too much and smoking likely ended his life early. He was a public man on a big stage, revered and reviled by many.

Besides his columns, he wrote 'God is not Great, How religion poisons everything' (available on Amazon), a courageous act given that he had become an American citizen. Where else in the developed world but the USA do you see a constant reference to God and religion by politicians? Such hypocrisy in the country that celebrates separation of church and state....

Some may think him selfish, squandering his life with addictions that led to his early demise. Others may hate his stand against religion. Many admire him for his intellect, writing and debating skills. Most of all, he is respected and honoured for his promotion of freedom - freedom of thought, particularly freedom from religious dogma and other such frauds.

George Bernard Shaw said, "The only service a friend can render is to hold up a mirror in which you see a noble image of yourself".

Hitch, as his buddies called him, had loving friends who held up such a mirror. Remembrances of CH:
To appreciate Hitchens and his intellect, listen to his acceptance speech of the 2011 Richard Dawkins award.

Christopher Hitchens lived life fully in the present according to his beliefs. We should all be so lucky.

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