"The essence of life is change, a panoply of growth and decay. Elect life and growth, and you elect change and the prospect of death. The woman probably experienced death so painful that she was determined not to feel it again, even at the expense of living.
She elected a life of sameness free from the new, the unexpected, a living death, without risk or challenge.
If we can live with the knowledge that death is our constant companion, travelling on our 'left shoulder', then death can become, in the words of Don Juan, our 'ally'. With death's counsel, the constant awareness of the limit of our time to live and love, we can always be guided to make the best use of our time and live life to the fullest. But if we are unwilling to fully face the fearsome presence of death on our left shoulder, we deprive ourselves of its counsel and cannot possibly live or love with clarity.
When we shy away from death, the ever-changing nature of things, we inevitably shy away from life."
- Adapted from The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck
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