A thought experiment.

Imagine yourself trapped in a cylinder filling with water.  The water comes in at an uneven rate: Sometimes it dribbles, sometimes it gushes.  You can't get out of the cylinder, and once the water reaches your head you'll drown.

"Okay, that's torture."

Yes, it is.

Now, let's imagine the cylinder were bigger, maybe the size of one of those nuclear storage tanks, but still only 7 or so feet tall.  You can have things in there with you to distract you, but the water's still coming in and once it gets to the top, you drown.

"Still torture."

Yep, it is.

Let's imagine the water was coming in at an unbelievably slow rate...maybe it might take years to get all the way to the top, and let's imagine the tank was even bigger, with a transparent top so you could see the sun.  There's always the risk that someone will open the flood valve and fill the tank at any moment.

Still...torture?  Maybe by now you see where this is going.  You're in that tank right now.

Our days are ultimately numbered, and our 'tank' is the size of the earth, perhaps bigger.  We've no real idea when that flood valve is going to open and kill us.

Dealing with those (metaphorical) facts is the central challenge in humanity:  Is your life torture, or is it something with meaning?  When your water gets to the top, be it suddenly or quickly, what is your legacy.

And, most importantly, do you know someone who can get you out of that tank once that brief moment of drowning is done?

I do.  And today, that makes me smile.  Let the water come.

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