Thoughts On ... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Life. Tell me what it is."

"Tell you ... what is life?"

"I'm asking you."

You're asking me what? How can I explain this thing called life that many have tried, but failed to explain. It is existence. It is living. Isn't it?

Existence. If something exists it has life. Does it? This electric fan, sitting on the floor, is it alive? According to the dictionary it isn't:

LIFE: The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and INANIMATE matter ...

So this fan, this desk, this computer are all inanimate. They are not alive. I AM alive because I am a living organism. Living. There's that word again. LI(F)ING.

LIFE: The physical, mental and spiritual experiences that constitute a person's existence.

WHAT? Just because I live doesn't mean I have life? I have to have EXPERIENCES?

A man sits on his bench. It is his bench because that is where he lives. Day and night, he just sits there looking at the people as they pass by. These people have experiences. They have life. The man: is he alive? He has no recent physical, mental, or spiritual experiences. Therefore he is not alive.

"Get a life." I hear that said to many. Do those who ask it know what they are asking? Maybe the man on the bench DOES have a life.

LIFE: The interval of time between birth and death; lifetime.

He does. But it is not a good one. Then again, who are we to judge the quality of another person's life?

A woman lies in a bed shared with many other women. A Nazi concentration camp is her location. It is pure terror. Death greets her every morning as she lines up in the cold air. Death is around every day. Death grows closer and closer to her. She is malnourished, tired and weak. Yet she still holds onto her life.

Why?

Because it is better than death. Others with her disagree, and let themselves die. Though she wants life, almost any other life would be better than hers.

Even that man on the bench. Life: It is the word which describes a living organism that has experiences existing between birth and death. WRONG.

LIFE: The time for which something exists or functions: the useful life of a car.

This fan, this desk, this computer do have life now. Don't they? They exist. They function. Therefore they have a life.

A life.

LIFE: A word.

That is what life is. It is a word in the English language used to describe the indescribable. True, there are many words like this; it is not unique. The words used in the dictionary to describe life are indescribable themselves:

EXISTENCE: The fact or continued state of being; life.

BEING: The state or quality of having existence.

LIFE: The property or quality ...

It's just a little circle. Each word is described in terms of another. Life has no meaning.

"Life is." fl




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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