Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life Is What You Do

In 1969, Joseph Stein together with John Kander (music) and Fred Ebb (lyrics) adapted the novel Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis into a Broadway musical. The show opens (and ends) with the song "Life Is," with lyrics that bolster Alexis Zorba's credo that you must grab life while you can.

In 1978, I was a graduate student and teaching assistant with the philosophy department at Miami University. One interdisciplinary course that I taught was "Confronting Death." During class one day, I asked my students, "If you were given the option to know when you were going to die, would you want to know?"

While some said no, others were adamant about their yes. Pressing on a bit I then asked, "What would be the benefit of that knowledge?"

Many students thought it would help them to plan their lives. I recall comments such as:

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Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.

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