In Krishna consciousness, Srila Prabhupada and our previous teachers stress a lot on the value of human life. Srila Prabhupada once answered his disciple that degrading to lower species of life is the most dangerous thing and by spreading Krishna consciousness, we can help people avoid that. So from a spiritual perspective, human life is very rare and hence very precious.
I was sitting in my cube today and one person stopped by to chat. He was talking about his friend who got cancer. The patient did not know about cancer till January of this year and in eight months dies. He said it like it was a normal thing. I was amazed at how the person explained the cancer story in a such a nonchalant way. To him cancer was like catching cold or something. He also said his father had colon cancer and survived. Anyways, as he was saying the story I was thinking on the unpredictable nature of this world. Recently, I also know of another individual (know him for eight years) who just got diagnosed with cancer and is in serious condition.
In both the cases, life was normal for the individuals with no glaring symptoms till one regular doctor's checkup changed everything. People plan their lives in short term and long term till retirement and accordingly make decisions. But little do they plan for such life altering crisis. Any intelligent person can see that life yesterday is not the same today and will not be the same tomorrow. It amazes me how when we talk about death as a reality, people simply slither in their seats like they have seen a snake. This is how much deep we are in illusion. If we do not meditate on death as a reality, when it comes, we will not know what to do. Therefore great saints such as Srila Prabhupada stress on the value of spiritual life in our day to day affairs. If we cultivate Godcentric spiritual consciousness and live our life thinking that earthly existence is temporary, then when our time comes, we will be well prepared to leave.
Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that how we leave determines our next destination. So it is important we leave thinking of Krishna and not in lamentation for the people and things of this world. Both the cancer stories reminds me of how life is so much on the tottering platform that at any moment it can fall. If we do not take shelter of Krishna, our next destination can be anything and slipping to animal or lower species will be our greatest peril and failure.
Please chant Hare Krishna, cultivate a spiritual mindset and inquire into the higher sublime truths of life. This is our chance.