Here is an excerpt from an interview I read of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author of best-selling book On Death And Dying. I thought it was appropriate to share as an encouragement to follow your OWN dreams. Don’t live your life to please others, or out of a need for acceptance. What is it that YOU want out of life?
DR: How can an atheist or agnostic most constructively deal with the inevitability of death? Is there an existentialist sense of angst that enters , and…
ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS: (interrupting) You have no problem!! When I started this work, I wouldn’t know what that was. I was raised Protestant. In my heart I was Catholic, and I was made into a Jew. For 22 years I was a little bit of everything. Then I worked with dying patients, and I began to realize that we’re all the same. We’re all the same human beings. We all are born the same way.We all die the same way, basically. The experience of death and after death is all the same.
It only depends how you have lived. If you have lived fully, then you have no regrets, because you have done the best you can do. If you made lots of goofs– much better to have made lots of goofs than not to have lived at all. The saddest people I see die are people who had parents who said “Oh, I would be so proud if I can say ‘my son the doctor.'” They think they can buy love by doing what mom tells them to do and what dad tells them to do. They never listen to their own dreams. And they look back and say, “I made a good living but I never lived.” That, to me, is the saddest way to live.
That’s why I tell people, and I really mean it literally, if you’re not doing something that really turns you on, do something that does turn you on, and you will be provided for to survive. Those people die with a sense of achievement, of priding themselves that they had the guts to do it.
To read the full interview go to: http://www.healthy.net/scr/interview.aspx?Id=205