May 30, 2009

The Chosen Cookie

"A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here. Do you understand what I am saying?"

I nodded, feeling myself cold with dread. That was the first time my father had ever talked to me of his death, and his words seemed to have filled the room with a gray mist that blurred my vision and stung as I breathed.
--The Chosen, Chaim Potok
The world is not a black and white cookie.

If you knew that your father was dying, that his life's passion was killing him, what would you do? Would you ask him to stop? Witness his brain and soul waste away in exchange for his physical health? Or would you sit by and watch him continue; witness his physiological decline as he achieved things, wonderful things that gave him even more happiness than your heart to heart conversations? His accomplishments surely won't be enough to comfort you when he is gone, but what else can you do? What choice do you have? If you love him, you don't have a choice. You have only the illusion of choice.

What a novel. The cookie was just eh.

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