Non-fiction Apr 16, 2020

The greatest gift in the universe is being alive. Life can easily be seen as the best thing one can have. Unfortunately, that is only realized when life itself is threatened.

Being grateful doesn’t work. Remembering your boons doesn’t work and other positive thinking tactics don’t work.

But when a certain virus surfaces somewhere, you find people cooped up in their homes.

The depressed girl who was about to swallow a bunch of pills is seen in her parents’ home, washing her hands and wearing masks not because she’s scared, but because she worries about her parents.

She finally sees her life from their eyes. How desperately they want her to be alive and well and for the moment, only that. Not be a millionaire, not birth a baby; just be alive. So she does.

That’s the beauty of death. Even if we say we want it, the actuality of it terrifies us.

Someone once told me that sometimes negative thinking keeps us safe. And I can’t help but think of this when fear has us checking up on our loved ones and taking care of ourselves.

We don’t want to die. We want to be remembered, as someone, as something.

We’re not afraid of plane crashes and sharks and gunshots. They’re not immediately beside us.

The girl who was not afraid of the eleven pills in her hand, is afraid of a minuscule virus that’s in China still.

A virus wouldn’t dictate when she goes; she will. And the pills end up in the trash. Her life looks like a worthy life now.

The greatest gift that we have and we sleep on it every day, not thinking of what a privilege it is to be breathing.

What a privilege it is to be alive! A luxury and an asset. A right and a necessity all at once.

-Purvi Rathod

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