Humans are loving, and yet we can be hateful . . .
Humans are helpful, but we are also irksome . . .
Humans can keep learning, though we resist change . . .
In Joan Halifax’s Being With Dying, she related this account:
World religions scholar Huston Smith once told the story of a well-known psychologist, an ornery old man close to death. One morning, as he was struggling to get to the toilet, a nurse tried to help him. He snapped back at her, “I can do it myself!” Then he dropped to the floor dead.
Smith used this story to illustrate just how defensive about needing help we are often are. He called this reaction ‘the porcupine effect.’
I agree with Smith’s “porcupine effect,” or in other words: Don’t touch me! Over the years of working with those close to death (and those caring for them) I have frequently heard a variation of the phrase: how you live is how you die. That may not be as true when death happens because of a car accident or an earthquake, but still . . . Read More →by