Friday, March 25, 2005

What is Life?

I heard the George Harrison song just the other day and it reminded me of the Schiavo situation. Actually, the words betray a crappy love song. A more apt tune from the former Beatle's catalog would be "Art of Dying."

There'll come a time when all your hopes are fading
When things that seemed so very plain
Become an awful pain
Searching for the truth among the lying
And answered when you've learned the art of dying

As an orthodox Catholic, it is easy for me to take a position on the Schiavo fiasco. However I can look beyond the religious dogma and ask myself what my instincts tell me. Harrison's question is relevant when one does this. What is life?

If life is defined as the ability to touch the lives of others, then the physical definition of life is meaningless. When I get philosophical like this, I often think of Elvis Presley. CBS will soon air another Elvis miniseries. While it couldn't possibly be "Elvis and the Beauty Queen", neither could the work of Shakespeare, Beethoven or Van Gogh. But I digress. More than 25 years after his physical death, the King lives. His story again will be told on TV. His records still sell have a place on the charts. Children born more than twenty years after his physical death recognize the likeness of Elvis, screaming in glee when they see him. Can someone who still touches the lives of millions be anything other than alive?


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