Welcoming the Ephemerality of Life

I came across a quote by Alexander Pushkin in my idle time at office.

β€œIt’s a lucky man who leaves early from life’s banquet, before he’s drained to the dregs his goblet – full of wine; yes, it’s a lucky man who has not read life’s novel to the end, but has been wise enough to part with it abruptly – like me with my Onegin.”
― Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

And I cannot hold to draw a parallel with the words of Soe Hok Gie.

“The best fate is to never have been born, second is to be born but die young, and the most unfortunate of all is to [reach] old age. This feels pretty right: Happy are those who die young.”-Soe Hok Gie

For me, it is interesting that they do not talk expansively and directly about death. They are talking about life. They acknowledged that life is ephemeral and not only it is OK, it is a welcomed fact. Rather than saying: “enjoy your life, it is short”, they are actually saying:”short life is awesome, long life sucks”. Pretty crazy, right? I am not sure though what is it that makes living long dreadful. Is it the suffering that might come in the old age? Why a drained goblet is a sign of unfortunate condition? Is it the hangover coming afterwards? Is it because life is so boring or so dreadful that you need the wine to make it bearable and now, after the loss of the wine, the “real” life starts? Why did they not consider a possibility of happy life as an elder?

It is confusing, but it is also exciting to guess and contemplate about what they were feeling when they wrote it and what did they try to convey.

What do you think?

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