Death and the Value of Life: Through Kobe
Kobe Bryant died on January 26, 2020. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant died beside him. And with that, left a crestfallen Bryant family, and in truth, a heartbroken world. Kobe was not a perfect man, but he was a man of his convictions. The Mamba mentality is well noted in not just basketball, but also applicable to general life. This was a man who had just started to repair his relationship with his father. He was writing a children’s book with Paulo Coelho for disadvantaged children. Kobe just had another child a few months ago. Gianna was just starting her life.
And then, Kobe just died. His daughter died. And with that, we got a reminder that death is inevitable for all of us.
People don’t often think about just how short life is. Every day, we live on with careless abandon. We complain about incessant things, and we think only in the present. What is good now should last forever, right? We fail to realize that our life can be taken away in the snap of a finger. And in its stead, we leave behind an unfulfilled legacy that simply was not capitalized on. In a life as short as this, people must be cognizant that they are fallible. As when you become intimately familiar with the fact that you will die one day, you truly make the most of your legacy on Earth.
We walk a fine line though. In thinking about death, we may grow to become nihilistic. “What matters, when you die in the end?” Equally so, we may mistakenly grow to excessively revere death, and welcome its hallowing embrace. In both cases, we run the risk of forgetting the life that begets death. See, if one truly wishes to make their death worthwhile, they must live their life by following their ambitions, and then creating a future for the ones to follow. Kobe succeeded in this. Truly, death is worthless if there is no life to begin with. Therefore, one must highly value their life first.
Live is valuable when you live it in balance. The eminent ideas that one must balance is (1) living your ambitions, and (2) setting up your future for your family. Ambition is what makes life fun, and livable. But ambition without an anchor makes it simply errant desire without any meaning. What is ambition if one does not prepare their future and family, to make sure he gets the full fruit of ambition’s reward? Looking into the future and preparing for it means that even if you don’t survive to see it, you will be sure to at least live on through your actions. Kobe held this balance greatly. To quote him, “When you get older you start to understand that really it’s about the next generation. That these championships do come and go. But the most important thing you can do is to pay everything that you’ve learned forward to the next generation to come. And that’s truly how you create something that lasts forever.”
Kobe’s death is a lesson for all of us. Life comes fast and goes even faster. It’s how you choose to live it that makes it valuable. Live your ambitions and have fun. But, never forget to pass on your teachings for the future. And perhaps most importantly, never lose faith. Faith that God will help you throughout your journey on Earth, and hopefully, when it is time to die as well. One mustn’t ever forget to fear death. Equally though, one must accept that death is a part of life. Only then, can man realize that in life is truly valuable.