Perhaps an Optimistic Observation

Someone once wrote a comment on a social media website, a very common act. They wrote with some amazement that every one of the persons in a photograph from the early twentieth century was now dead. Another person reacted to the comment by claiming that it was so obvious of an observation, that the comment on mortality was stupid.

The recognition of mortality, not in the intellectual sense, but as a kind of intuition, is not unintelligent. There is something daunting in the realization that these persons preceded, abided and continued through regular, common suffering. They are responsible for the current state of affairs, at least in some ways. They strove and failed at some things; they lived through failed marriages and the loss of necessary material. Some of them lost their homes; others were abused; some abandoned their lives and loved-ones; others found themselves homeless in a pitiless world. None of them survived the test of living. They all expired, most of them anonymously. Almost all were required to settle their ambition with what recognition their unacknowledged lives afforded them. There is nothing unintelligent in a recognition of what living is, if that is what the comment meant and if this person was set on seeing the historical actuality. .

On the other hand, if the only thing this person did recognize was that those humans in the photograph have now passed back into the earth, then the comment was stupid..., but I doubt that.