INSPIRATION: On Being’s “Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves”



For the wisdom that comes from another, I give thanks.

INSPIRATION: Krista Tippett’s conversation, “Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves” with Jennifer Michael Hecht about her recent book, Stay, on NPR’s “On Being”

  • amazing how a conversation about death helps us life seem more vivid and clear
  • amazing how the work of a non-religious writer is the perfect partner to my current ministry book I’m loving, The Relational Pastor.
  • amazing how a good radio program makes a 6-mile run seem not long enough.

“None of us can truly know what we mean to other people, and none of us can know what our future self will experience.”

“The idea that life is horrible, but absurd, and that we can embrace the weird side, and stop trying to make everything right and reasonable, stop trying to dot all the i’s or make it seem fair, but embrace the absurd, and be interested in the future.”

“But don’t ever forget the flipside, which is your staying alive means so much more than you really know or that anyone is aware of at this moment. But we’re in it together in this profound way, and you can take some strength from that. I think that’s, for me, that’s been very important. Just feel like obviously we’re not individuals. Wow, how could I have thought that we were on that kind of level? And it’s funny, because my two arguments that you owe it to other people and that you owe it to your future self, are both about looking at what the individual means. Because when you look at a person within a group, and all the trends we follow, the clothes, the car, the not-car, the every — all these trends that we follow, you realize the extent to which we’re enmeshed. And when you look at yourself and realize that you have fallen in and out of love with the same person, you have fought with friends, thinking you’ll never speak to them again, and you love them again…”

“Imagine yourself alone on this planet. Would anything be the same? Would you wash a dish? Would you think about productivity? Would you think about when you slept? How would conceive of what your life means? It’s like a little kid left alone in a house, just the sudden shock of existential distress. We make the meaning for each other. And the culture makes the meaning. And we have these friendships in our head of people who thought life was really terrible and yet, decided that there was, you know, this beauty in it, and this communalism. So, yeah, I certainly believe we believe each other into being. We’re not much when we’re not in the eyes of someone else at least some of the time.”

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