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Rough Cuts | Time to prepare our own ‘Bucket List’

Over the last 10 days or so we have to confine ourselves in the house in compliance with the mandate to avoid contacts with other people. This is part of the protocols adopted by the government to ensure that the spread of the deadly and now pandemic CoronaVirus Disease 2019 (CoViD 19) is prevented.

As everyone is already aware by now, the pandemic has resulted in the death of over a hundred thousand already all over the world in just a matter of three months since it started in Wuhan, China. Because of the almost similar approaches adopted by governments all over to contain the spread of the deadly disease, all the more that death is affirmed as the most feared enemy of man. In fact death has so much morbidity that no one ordinary, or perhaps only a very limited few mortals would dare talk about it especially if it is their own.

But it was also during this house self-incarceration that we had the opportunity to see a DVD movie that has given us a peak on the feeling of fear of death by two men who decided to handle their fast approaching demise in a rather positive manner.

Yes, the not-so-old movie “Bucket List” leads us to think that instead of putting our fear of death in the steering wheel of the nearing end of our life’s journey we can use it instead as the time to do things that can become game changers to others’ lives and in the process allowing the fear of our nearing end more purposeful.

The approaches that the two main characters in the movie, irascible billionaire (Jack Nicholson) and scholarly mechanic (Morgan Freeman) adopted in dealing with their lives’ fate reminded us of Jesus Christ himself; He who, in Mark 10.32-34, talked openly about his own death and the many things he intended to do before he was to face his Father in heaven.

And in only the last Holy Week’s commemoration of Jesus’ sufferings and death He and his disciples were remembered to be on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was going ahead of the disciples who were filled with alarm; the people who followed behind were afraid. Once again Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and spoke of the things that were going to happen to Him.

“Listen,” He told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn Him to death and then hand Him over to the gentiles, who will make fun of Him, spit on Him, whip Him, and kill Him; but three days later He will rise to life.”

Yes, it is only Jesus, the Son of God who came to the world and became Man, who knew why he was sent here by His Father – to redeem the people from the wages of sin. He was beforehand destined to give his life so others may live blessed lives.

Thus, if one knows exactly that he is here in this world for a noble purpose and that his death is the instrument to achieve such objective, then, he has no qualms talking about his death whenever and wherever it comes.

That is why we have heroes in our country – they who lived ahead of us, and the modern and living ones. They knew that their advocacy, their services mean the betterment of the greater majority of our people. And some have given their lives so others may live to reap the fruit of the cause the former have chosen to devote their lives to.

And they knew too well that pursuing their advocacy could even mean alienating them from the society they belong, even from the very people who stand to benefit from their sacrifices. These society and people are the very same sector that eventually pushed our heroes to perdition, discrimination and even to their death.

Yes, look what is happening now to our front liners in the fight against the deadly CoViD 19? In the Philippines alone a substantial number of medical professionals have already died; nurses, hospital workers and even service providers to the hundreds of men and women suspected of having been infected by the virus, or have been hospitalized or have died because of the disease, are evaded much the same way as the CoViD plague itself.

The men and women who have become judgmental to their fellowmen just because they feel the front liners would transmit to them the virus are now comparable to the mob during the charging, trial and rendering of judgment on Jesus all rolled into one in the court of Pontius Pilate. They wanted Him dead and so He was killed with Pilate washing his hands on His fate. Is it not similar to the fate of today’s modern heroes in the battle against the pandemic? Notwithstanding their risking their own lives so the Filipinos will survive the deadly CoVid 19 they are denied abode, though hesitantly, by the people in their own communities, even by some of their relatives.

This practice was prevalent during Jesus’ time and is not yet dead today. Some people have fallen into misplaced prejudices because of fear of death.
Yes, certain practices of old were not really gone. Instead, these come back on a cycle, very much similar to the pandemic that the world is experiencing today. It comes with some historical patterns.

Should death especially that of our own really be worth our fear? Of course it is. But one thing is certain. Taking courage to talk about it and making preparations for its eventual coming will assuage our fear to a large degree.
Maybe it’s about time we have to prepare our own “Bucket List.”

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