Chun-ja is staring at her bowl of Juk. She finds it difficult to lift the spoon and lead it to her mouth. Chun-ja is 75 years old and since the death of her husband half a year ago she has lost all her energy and sometimes sits for minutes without being able to take the next bite. Life has become unbearably empty and poor.
Old and poor - what to do?
Poverty among the elderly is a problem on the rise in many nations. The sad leader of poverty rate statistics in the OECD states is South Korea. The demographics develop in such a way that leaves South Korean society old, poor and suicidal. Out of this the "Dying Well" program emerged. This is something that even young and rich people can learn from.
Dying Well? What does it mean?
As part of the Dying Well movement, South Korean funeral service companies have invented the Mock Funeral. People get to dress up in their funeral outfits and lie in their closed coffins for ten minutes. The thoughts that run through their minds while they are lying in their coffins give them strength and energy for their remaining time on the planet. However long that will be.
In some cultures people not only eat after the funeral, even the ceremony itself is a joyous affair. Watch this video from Ghana. This might be the happiest "sad" event ever:
Ask the happy sad questions
Is there a way to die happy and satisfied?
The concept behind this strikes us as beautiful from a metaethical point of view. It is a crass thought experiment, to conceive of the world without you. You are part of many groups. You bring your experience to society. You help out and spread kindness. And if you take yourself out of the equation, you see what truly matters, how you truly matter. Certainly the functions you fulfill at work or in your household are valuable. But what is the essence of your being? Which responsibilities will cause people to celebrate your life?
Some cultures seem to be better in living in the moment than others, who are more focussed on a far away goal. Yet if your eyes are glued to the horizon all the time you might miss the joy you could have had. Maybe there is a time for thinking ahead and a time for solving what's on your plate and yet another time to simply enjoy life. Anyway it seems like the guy in this amazing video has it figured out: