“The Caution-vs.-Kicks Quandary” by Bob Greene. The Wall Street Journal, 3/26/2015.
A Dutch organization, Mars One, is signing up candidates for a future trip to Mars. The catch is, the travelers will have to stay. The trip is one-way with no return. Still, they were overwhelmed with over 200,000 expressions of interest. At least that many people were considering trading in their long humdrum hometown existence for the short thrill of traveling to Mars. (This helps understand the mind-set of suicide terrorists.)
Pro football player Chris Borland recently got a lot of publicity when he retired at age 24 because of long-term health concerns over concussions. But another player, Chris Conte, expressed the Mars-traveler philosophy: “I’d rather have the experience of playing and, who knows, die 10, 15 years earlier, than not be able to play in the NFL and live a long life.”
I think when Conte gets nearer the end, he will understand the final quality of life is far more important than the length. He should think more in terms of years in a wheelchair, burdening a caring loved one with the chore of feeding him and wiping his butt every day.
How does that scenario sound? Dying is easy.