Death's Value

by Jim Drinkle

Death is an interesting concept. It’s something that most people try to avoid thinking about and is often viewed with terror. However, upon deeper contemplation, death makes all things more precious and valuable. For example, the finite nature of a flower is in part the reason why it’s more captivating than its polyester counterpart. And a sunset would lose its breathtaking capabilities if it lasted for 5 hours instead of 5 minutes. Viewed this way, death can be seen as a virtue and its presence can actually benefit the objects it consumes.

This same principle can be applied to drinking a special bottle of wine. On one hand, both the money spent and time cellared for particularly special bottles can be so significant that people question the sanity of individuals investing so much for a pleasurable experience. But by being fully aware of the sanctity of the situation and knowing that come tomorrow, the bottle of wine will be just a memory, a captivating and engaging experience can be had. And one that would lose most of its impact if the bottle could be afforded on a regular basis and drank time and time again.

Expanding this concept further, the fact that our own death is looming at the end of our surprisingly short lives gives the time we have much more value. Immortality, while it seems appealing in ways, would steal the captivating nature of unique experience and leave the individual with no urgency to do anything ever, thus devaluing every moment into eternity. Facing the fact that you will die, and pondering that idea often, can provide motivation for living each moment, and drinking each glass, with increased appreciation and attention.