A Will to Live

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Have your ever known someone, or heard of someone, that beat all odds of death, time and time again - they just kept going, surviving - their doctors, amazed, speak the word 'miracle' perhaps? I have known several, and they all had one thing in common: A will to live that can only be described as tremendous. Maybe it is mind over matter, maybe not. When we contemplate Y2K, so much of our discussion focuses on survival. A strong will to live may be part of that survival. I believe it is important. I also believe that it can help a person get by incredible obstacles. Do you have it?

Suppose someone asked you: Why do you want to live? What would you say? Before reading the next paragraph answer this question for yourself. That's right, stop right now and answer this one question: Why do you want to live?

Was your answer something like "Um, well, I just don't want to die" or "Wow, nobody ever asked me that before", or " I'm sorry but I just can't think about that"? After all it sounds like a dumb question, doesn't it?

But think about it. Think about if your answer describes why you need to live. May I suggest that the more forcefully you can identify reasons, even a single reason, why you have to go on, the more you increase the odds that you may be able to. One difference here is that between wanting to and feeling that you have to.

Obviously, I am not even suggesting that this is all you need for Y2K - there remains no replacement for prudent preparation. I am saying only that it can, in some intangible way, actually help. Perhaps even enough to make a difference.

Is this just my imagination at work? I don't thimk so, but what do you think - have you seen this too?

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), January 25, 1999


Well, I am one of those people. I was 24 years old, with 2 children under the age of 24 months. Being told you have cancer was a hard thing to swallow. I beat the odds. It was the will to live, the will to see your children grow up and live a productive life. Then when you see them grow up and you want the best for them, it's hard to see them struggle. There were other things that were hard to take, but you do what you have to do. You will make it if you want to. It does take will power, and a determination to fight for what is right and the right thing to do. I don't know why I am still here (24 years later), but whatever comes my way, I am prepared to accept. I won't give up, I will survive as long as I can.....it's a mechanism that's built into each and every one of us, you only need to believe it.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), January 25, 1999.

Since Huelsebus thought that dynamite was not dangerous, I was not too concerned about it. I kept it under the bed in my dream hut because this was the only place where there was room. My hut was the only shelter on this tideland. During the winter the dynamite became so mushy that I could squish it with my fingers. I assumed that the watery pearls on it were condensation because of the damp climate in my cold hut.

Whoever built this hut thoughtfully added an oil stove next to its door. It had a three or four-gallon tank attached to its back and was located three feet from my mousy arsenal bed. I rarely made a fire for I would have to haul in the oil like my water. It was just too troublesome.

In my constant struggle to become civilized I wore pajamas to bed instead of muddy clothes. One night I woke up freezing so I lit the stove. To do this I opened a valve to drain some oil into the firebox. It was too dark to see if, and how much, oil entered it so I had to guess how far, and how long to keep the valve open.

Intermittently I threw lit matches and burning paper into the oil which was not very volatile because it was so cold. Frustrated that it would not light, I stuffed newspapers into it and lit it. After the fire started I checked the flow control and returned to bed. A few seconds later the stove roared, popped and crackled. I shut off its valve and dove from my hut. Outside, roaring, flickering shadows told me to keep running. How hot could dynamite get before it would no longer be dynamite? When I turned around I saw that the chimney was a giant torch roaring to the sky. Barefoot and shivering at a great distance, I did not return to bed until the torch died and I had peed into the dark night. I put a lot of pressure behind it, for I could not see and I did not want to get my feet wet. I remembered Ma warning us about the danger of cold, wet feet.

Because of my warming experience in this cold night I thought it to be a good idea to carry out Huelsebuss request so the following day I moved his explosives to the trunk of the jalopy. I embraced the box to hold its soggy bottom together. Then I drove it over the bumpy road to the respective parties.

Years later I read the following article in a newspaper:

MOSCOW, (IDAHO) (AP) Andy Shemline did not want officials burning his barn to dispose of old, possibly dangerous dynamite. So he took care of it himself.

At my age it didn't matter much, so I said, what the hell and took care of it, the 66-year-old cattle rancher said.

Latah County sheriff's deputies spent most of Thursday searching for Shemline and the dynamite.

I didn't want them to destroy everything, so I just did it myself.

Shemline said he decided to tell deputies what he had done Friday. But he made detectives sign a form saying they would not prosecute him if he revealed the whereabouts of the dynamite.

Sheriff's Lt. Vern Moses said officials thought the public safety factor was more important than charging Shemline.

The decision to burn the barn was made after explosives officials from Washington's Spokane County advised Moses that it would be dangerous to move the dynamite.

No one wanted to burn the barn, but compared to risking an explosives technician's life, there was no question what we had to do, Moses said.

Instead, Shemline disposed of the dynamite by dousing it with petroleum to neutralize it and then removing it from the barn and burning it, he said. He went to the University of Idaho to research the matter and learned how to dispose of the dynamite himself.

When I told little brother about this article he confirmed that one could wipe the drops off unstable dynamite and fling them to the ground, to make them explode. The liquid beads were not moisture but highly dangerous nitroglycerin.

My guardian angel protected me again as she had done so many times before. She had saved me from bombs, bullets, head-rot and Mas high altitude boiling. She had shielded me during my many illnesses and starvation, from our father and his devilish wife, from our bomb making, from our E. coli-charged food and fingers. She had kept us afloat in raging hurricanes on the ocean. She had protected me from an antagonistic bull and scores of other attempts to reduce me to dust. And now she protected me from ignorance. Was it because F. gave me dimes to put into the collection plate on Sundays?

Huelsebus, do you know how close you came to sending me to heaven? I want to get a life; Im not yet ready for heaven.

...And it would have been in such a unique fashion. Blow my flaming body into little bits a mile into the sky. Let me rain down like a brilliant rocket on the fourth of July. Mark my departure point with a big hole at ground zero. My body would have come down from the sky in a nice big circle while my soul would have kept going north. My stir-fried circle would have attracted a selection of little animals such as mice, foxes, ducks, geese and magpies.

-- TTF (seenit@ww2.com), January 25, 1999.

I just don't know. I'm confused by earth life. We have physical bodies, ultimately that is all we have on earth. But we know we'll lose them. What are we "getting" out of our earth lives ? Are we using our bodies to obtain whatever benefit they are intended to yield ?

Has anybody here ever read Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun ? That book tells of somebody with an extreme will to live, but apparently nothing to live for. I can't figure out what we should be doing/learning with these physical bodies, which we still have and which Joe lost ( in the book ), that we are perhaps missing entirely. And sand is running through the glass.

-Runway Cat, on ninth life ?

-- Runway Cat (Runway_Cat@hotmail.com), January 26, 1999.

Off, need sleep...

-- Run Way Cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), January 26, 1999.

off again.

-- runway cat (runway_cat@hotmail.com), January 26, 1999.

Cat -- have you counted how many of your "lives" you've used up?

I'm up to about 6 but most of that was in my teens and 20's. Mountains, rivers, buses, traffic intersections, storming the Pentagon in '69, hepatitis, fanatic cult leaders, etc.

I missed Mom's funeral a few years ago out on a wilderness trip. But she never knew how many times she came close to attending mine.

Now in my late 40's I think I do things slower and with more looking ahead around corners. But here we're talking about y2k throwing many of our safe routines out the window. Don't you feel just a little bit of wildness peeking in? Some return of youth as random and unsafe as it was.

We prepare to cut down on those odds of major losses. Trying not to be conspicuous to an unprepared society all around us. But throw all our preparations across the New Year line and we still come down to 20 years of learning to be safer unraveling.

-- (jor-el@krypton.com), January 26, 1999.

"That's right, stop right now and answer this one question: Why do you want to live?"

Right now at my age, the answer is I HAVE to live. I must live for the sake of my children. It's effortless for me, I don't have to think or make the decision, I simply must. When I think at length about y2k and the possible consequences, the JAE, when I've rationalized everything as logically as I could, I feel/see a glimpse of despair and hopelessness in myself, which is then quickly smothered by this overwhelming MUST that controls my brain, whenever that glimpse flickers.

" A will to live that can only be described as tremendous. Maybe it is mind over matter, maybe not."

I know it is. The brain is organic and part of the human system. The "soul" we attribute to it is simply the effects of its electrochemical functions which allow the awareness of self and surroundings (pardon me for saying this, religious people), but those same electrochemical processes control and influence the health of the rest of the body. Significant imbalances in those chemicals causes dysfunctions in it's processes; thinking, perceptions etc., which in turn can cause the body's processes to respond negatively.

So then, perhaps it's my female hormones that influences my brain since I'm a mother, which strengthen my instinct of will to live.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 26, 1999.

Runway Cat's reference to Johnny Got His Gun brought back memories of a movie that I've never been able to forget, even though I saw it in 1971. I didn't read the book, but in the movie Johnny couldn't die even though he wanted to. (He had lost everything but his brain and trunk in WWI. No eyes, ears, mouth, arms, or legs.) Finally a nurse who realized that he could think took pity on him and tried to kill him, to his tremendous gratitude. A doctor discovered what she was doing and stopped her, so Johnny was doomed to live.

Thirteen years ago I met someone in a similar situation. A childhood disease had left him essentially a blind quadriplegic. (That's not accurate, but close enough.) For more than thirty years his will to live kept him going. He was highly intelligent and had a great sense of humor, and we became close friends. His will to live was based on hope that someday things would be better. At the age of 50 he had a stroke which robbed him of what little hope he had. In six months he was dead, due to some mysterious stomach pain that took two agonizing weeks to kill him. Did the loss of his will to live create an illness that would do him in? Was his will to die stronger than his body's will to continue?

I miss him terribly, but I wouldn't wish him back if I could.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (storestuff@home.now), January 26, 1999.

RC: I don't know either, maybe it's like bardou says, we each have the 'mechanism' and it is a matter of belief. But you seem to be questioning why we are here at all - what are we supposed to be doing - the reason for existing in the first place. Perhaps this is related to our will to live, for a strong sense of purpose would argue for a strong will to live. My point in this post was just to explore this will to live in a Y2K context, since I think it has some relevance.

Chris: As a father, I feel the same way. The kids were the reason that came to my mind. I tried to think back to "before children" as to what my answer would have been, but came up blank.

Server is really slow - first - and maybe last - psot today.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), January 26, 1999.

"Suppose someone asked you: Why do you want to live? What would you say?":

This is the question which haunted me for much of my youth. This is the question which NO adult could answer satisfactorily. Why? How is it that I can continue on each day without an answer that makes my heart & head sing in unison, "That's it! This is why I'm here!". Daily this thought bubbled up from the depths of my being.

For what it's worth...

Reincarnation makes sense to my heart & my head. I must learn my lessons, burn up the accumulated negative karma, stockpile the good karma, live intuitively; So I never have to go out from where I originated ever again.

This is what makes me tick. My reason for arising in the morning. The impetus for preparing for tomorrow.

Rob, thank you for another engaging post.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), January 27, 1999.

Rob, thanks for bringing this thread to my attention, I don't know how I missed it before.

Like you and Chris, the first thought that leapt to my mind were my children (I want to see my grandchildren, too). But there is more, although it doesn't easily go into words. I have work to do. Sometimes I get to see the result of that work, more often, I have to do in faith, never hearing or seeing the results. My work is to live as best I can in accordance to my faith.

I once made a comment to one of my nieces that her other aunt Tricia should be her favorite aunt, that I didn't think much of what I'd done for her. Her response flabbergasted me. She was very grateful for something I had done which I hadn't even considered important enough to even think about, something which was just innate. This one episode made me realize that it is often not the big deeds that we do (or miss doing), but the way we every day live our lives that has the largest influence on those we meet and know. This is what I want to remember in Y2K, HOW I live is at least as important to me as living itself. Not in the usual physical/financial sense, but in my actions and beliefs.

As I said earlier, this doesn't go into words well, I hope I've made my point. (But I have my doubts ;-)

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), March 19, 1999.


I don't know either how I missed this the first time around, but I'm glad I didn't miss out altogether.

". . .stop right now and answer this one question: Why do you want to live?", you ask.

FWIW, more than anything else that I am or ever have been, I am inherently and fanatically curious. I have to know what happens next!

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), March 19, 1999.


You are always to be counted on for intriguing ponderings.

I do sense that many things are destined to come to an "end", which is, of course, also a "beginning".

I am drawn to the creation of the next stage of our human journey. Perhaps the optimist in me holds out hope that we can do a better job by starting with a sounder context and foundation for life, for government, and for community.

I want to raise my children in the world of my vision.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@ptd.net), March 19, 1999.

Tricia: You bring up an interesting point about the importance of how we live and its relationship to our will to do so. It is our beliefs that so often motivate our actions. The stronger the belief, perhaps the higher chance that the actions will result in desired consequences.

Hardliner: Yeah, if we didn't have curiosity what would our lives be like? How many of us wouldn't Get it, or have had a reason to search out the Y2K (or any other) truth in the first place.

Sara: Since you are interested in beginnings, you may find the following particularly stimulating. The thread is called TBOTWAWBI. I just checked it to see if you posted to it and you didn't so you may have missed it. After reading your post, I feel that you would really enjoy that thread. Here is the link. Hope you like it, and feel free to put in your two cents if so inclined. It is one of my favorite threads.


-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), March 19, 1999.

All I have to do is look at a baby, any baby.

And know that baby may need help to grow up.

--Greybear, whos own babies (despite their 22 yrs and 16 yrs and own sets of fangs) still affect him the most.

- Got Diapers?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), March 20, 1999.

Thank you, Rob, for the TBOTWAWBI thread. "The Beginning of the World as we Build It"... one of my first realizations after delving more deeply into Y2K research is that the potential for something I dubbed "TBOTWAYU" (The Beginning of the World As Yet Unknown) held promise as well as threats and challenges.

Great thread.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@ptd.net), March 22, 1999.

Actually I would prefer going home.I remain here because my Heavenly Father has not seen fit to call me home.I assume there to be something left He would have me do.It is strange to be homesick for a place I've never been.But I am.Now I can imagine responses such as,why don't you just step in front of a semi and solve your problem moron?But I don't have the right to choose for myself.I belong to God to do with as he chooses through Jesus Christ my Lord.But I am anxiously awaiting His return and wonder if y2k is part of the end time scenario.Faithfully waiting

-- traveling stranger (robq@mindspring.com), March 22, 1999.

This thread seems to have its own "will" to continue, LOL.

Sara: Glad you found TBOTWAWBI. I plan on reactivating it after I get the book "Ishmael" (still waiting).

traveling stranger: We are all waiting, waiting as fast as we can.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), March 22, 1999.

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