1000 word or twenty-minute essay
The Doors to the Past
The doors to the past close one by one. Yesterday, David Cassidy died, he was sixty-seven. Apparently, he endured a troubled life. How could we compare the life of a celebrity with the life of a mortal? There is no comparison between any life, we all endure or enjoy our existence. Maybe our thoughts should be directed to David’s fan club. At the height of his fame, his fan base was greater than Elvis Presley and The Beetles combined. There is no better testimony to his popularity.
In the same way, like many celebrities, he married a few times. His family life was difficult, becoming estranged from his daughter, and close to his son. In the same way, he became estranged from his father the brilliant actor and singer Jack Cassidy. David must have earned a fortune in his career and was declared bankrupt a few years ago. For all the fame and wealth there seems to be little common sense. His drinking and self-abuse could account for many errors. However, no matter how his lifestyle is excused, the certainty is he did not set an example to follow.
For many people the death of a contemporary entertainer is a marker: they review their whole life from the memory of a song or situation. As they scan life timelines, the realisation of the mistakes and waste shock them into the reality of their situation. The celebrities death seals the truth of time squandered. Could they have avoided the waste of lifetime?
There are simple and basic rules all humans have to live by, and if we follow them, we will come to no harm. The rules are so basic in concept they are often ignored. If you watch a human see if he is failing to use the rules I’ll guarantee he will be struggling. Not only will he struggle with his life, but he’ll also believe himself always right, and expert in life. This fellow will justify his methods and ignore the reality of life.
What are the rules? In no order they are: –
Work for a living.
Live within earnings.
Make the objective owning property.
Save to buy – Do not enter debt.
Focus on personal and family happiness.
Allow others to follow their path.
Realise you become your friend’s persona.
Accept most people have no interest in your opinion.
Meditate daily on the word ‘integrity’.
Give nothing you cannot afford.
These rules work, and there is no escaping the lessons within the ideas. Argue and debate them for a lifetime the potentials will not change. The ideas have one requirement: they have to be understood early in life. As time passes terrible habits and delusion settles in mind. To overcome the illusion takes years of hard effort and sacrifice.
This is not a moralistic essay: it is written after reading of David Cassidy’s death, a man of great talent who had the greatest of opportunities. We could wonder if he’d followed the simple rules of life if he’d still be alive today. This question has no answer, although, it is possible his life would have changed. The permutations are too complicated to consider and his life is over.
Another door to the past closes. Some of us will remember him in the early seventies and some years before in the television series ‘The Partridge Family’. As the years are reconsidered, there are few memories. A Pentax S1a camera and cruise ships. Nothing else is worthy of mention apart from the most important facet of those years: music and books. I remember songs, writers, artists, films. Fahrenheit 451, Erich Fromm, Bullitt, Alan Watts and Micheal Powell: these are five pieces in a thousand piece jigsaw. David’s death evoked memories which formed my creative character. The reader may find listing favoured books, films, music provide a fascinating insight into their creative foundation.
This writer see’s the death of a contemporary (someone existing at the same time as another) entertainer as a reminder of his mortality, failures and achievements. During meditations, I have considered the aspects of all three. Death I can cope with, there is no fear of the final sleep. Failures? What are failures? They are examples of when the rules were ignored. Achievements are nothing of importance. One happiness is an understanding of the rules. If there were tick boxes next to the list: everyone would be confirmed. During the last fourteen years, the rules are followed to the letter. There is no need to look back and think ‘Life could be different’ as my life is good.
Should we consider the future as uncertain or not? If the future is uncertain, the choice is to be reckless and care not a fig for our actions; this means trusting to luck. If the future can be mapped, then we care for every action made realising the implications of our deeds. The choice is made when the rules of life are known. The problematic aspect is knowing success requires long-term dedication.
David Cassidy can still bring pleasure to anyone who listens to his songs. Very few humans can realise this legacy. Most of us will be unknown within a few decades after entering the final sleep. As the clock ticks closer to twenty minutes I realise my insignificance. There can be no better gauge of being a successful human than accepting we are no more than a grain of sand in a Universe no-one understands.