At the same time, a book group I belong to has just read Atul Gawande's latest, Being Mortal. It's an essay about how we deal with the end of life now. A surgeon, writer, and public health researcher, Gawande is thought-provoking and extremely readable.
This last quality comes in part because he's thought a lot about the story that each of writes in our own lives. He writes:
"For human beings, life is meaningful becaue it is story. a story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens...
"A semingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted ot a great cause. ...Unlike your experiencing self--which is absorbed in the moment--you remembering self is attempting recognize not only the peaks of joy an the valley sof misery but also how the story works out as a whole. That is profoundly affectedby how things ultimately turn out. Why would a fooball fan let a few flubbed minutes at the end of the game ruin three hours of bliss? Because a football game is a story.
" And in stories, endings matter."
Worth thinking about, whether you're contemplating your life or those of others.