Life and death – an inseparable couple. Death has always fascinated me, or more precisely put, what happens after you die has captured my attention. It is a particularly interesting subject as no one knows for sure what comes after death, nobody can speak from experience. It is a subject left completely up to your imagination. Everybody has their ideas and beliefs concerning death and what’s happening after, but certainty will only be achieved through death itself. I for my part always had the strong belief that I will be reborn after I die. I am convinced that I’m an old soul, I am convinced that I had many lives before the one I’m living right now and that many more will follow. This probably explains why sustainability and the earth’s wellbeing are so important to me, so close to my heart, as it will concern me in my future lifetimes.
The idea of being reborn provides great comfort, for what isn’t achieved in this life will get it’s chance in the next one, or the one after. It also entails that I am not at all afraid of death – why be afraid when there is another life waiting for you after you die? Why be afraid when you died so many times already? However, the belief in being reborn also makes me handle my life without care.
To be honest, I ride the bike like an uncivilized brute. Any rules that might apply to other traffic participants don’t apply to me. Red lights? I skip them. Orange light? That’s still green. There’s traffic jam on the street? What did they invent the pavement for if not for me to skip traffic? Somebody overtook me (a very rare occasion)? Fuck that, I’ll go overtake them back! I have to be the fastest on the road, the leader of the pack. I don’t accept anything but the pole position. Of course I’m well aware that my behaviour on the road is dangerous, especially as a cyclist. I’m the most vulnerable on the streets and yet I expose myself to danger like nobody else.
Today I realised why the danger, the risks connected to my careless cycling never really bothered me. It all stems from my belief that I am going to have many more lives after the one I’m living right now. Why should I anxiously protect this one when there are many more to come? However, I overlooked a crucial factor in this equation. Namely, I don’t know who I am going to be reborn as! However, I do know that I love the person I am in this life. I love the life I am living, I am extremely privileged and well aware of it. I love every part of me, I love my bravery, my personality, my independence, my determination and my resilience. I love my family and friends. Chances are that in my next life, I won’t be such a cool person living such a privileged life anymore. So that makes me realize that I should protect my current life a lot more than I did until now. I need to be more careful. This life is wonderful and I do not intend to exit it all too soon. So I will drive more carefully and start wearing a helmet again – not because I fear death, but because I love life.