I had a dream last night about me and my Dad going into outer space on some kind of a mission. As we were locked in an air-tight cabin on some foreign planet, I realised that there was nobody out there to save me, in case something happened. I started to fear that I might have some sort of a panic attack, lose my breath and die somewhere lost in space — leaving my Dad all alone out there.
I woke up to a feeling of relief that it was just a dream after all. It was the middle of the night and I was safe and sound in my warm bed. But the relief didn’t last long. As I listened to the lonely sound of my own breath in the dark room, I realised that this dream was, after all, about something I’ll never be able to escape.
The fear of my own death — and, eventually, me dying with no more and no less than 100% certainty. No matter how much I don’t like to think about it, there’s no reason to keep hiding from this truth. One day I will die.
As scary as it sounds, acknowledging my death helps me realise what I would like to see happening before that. I would like to die knowing that the world I leave is at least somewhat better than the one I entered. I would like to see — and participate it — certain changes before my time here comes to an end.
On the day that I die, I would like to see a world with no visas to enter countries. People will have abandoned the idea that we only have a right to travel if we pay a certain amount of money and somebody important lets us through the border. Instead, I will see a world with no artificial borders, free, fluid and welcoming wanderers to roam around as they please.
On the day that I die, I would like to see more forests on this planet than there were the moment I was born. Ideally, I will die consciously under a big old tree, providing me with some shadow on a late-summer day. This tree will have a lot of companions around — and they will stay there long after people take my body from under the old tree and bury it in the soil nearby.
On the day that I die, I would like to see most people alive understanding their individual interest as inherently connected to the benefit of the whole. I would like to see humans helping others not because they count on getting something in return — but out of the conviction that the sole act of making another’s life easier benefits them directly.
On the day that I die, I would like to be a part of a small, well-integrated community and see others around the globe living in similar communities, too. Big cities will not be so big anymore, as many will decide to give up the artificial life in tall apartment buildings and get away to tend their own little plot of land next to the woods. These people will know how to grow their own food and live a balanced lifestyle along with their neighbours, supporting one another when in need.
On the day that I die, I would like to listen to a politician on a video or podcast. That politician will be telling the truth. They will take it as an honour to be able to decide about the affairs of so many people, and will be ready to speak to anybody who has contradictory opinions. They will execute power from the heart, steering their decisions from the place of empathy and compassion for all life. They will have done a lot of inner work like meditation and will be able to see through much of our human conditioning and masks we all wear. However, they won’t use this ability to outsmart or manipulate anyone — but simply to understand better.
On the day that I die, I would like to see children treated as real people, rather than annoying little brats who are always told to keep quiet and stop running. I will see children being asked for their opinion, participating in adults’ meetings and activities and taught to love and respect themselves for who they already are. There won’t be many moms buying their kids candy as soon as they start crying in the store. Instead, these moms will be picking their babies up in their arms and telling them how much they love them.
Being able to see all those changes is my dream. What else can I wish for as the outcome of my life? A house and a car? These are just tools to do things. The true goal for me is participating in the creation of the change I want to see in the world.
In the end, not all of the above is up to me. I cannot decide now how people will — or should — live on the day that I die. All I can do is to focus each moment of my existence, each breath and each action on encouraging the kind of change I believe needs to happen.
That’s the least and, at the same time, the best I can do to die as a fulfilled human being.