Our greatest prejudice is against death. It spans age, gender and race. We spend immeasurable amounts of energy fighting an event that will eventually triumph. Though it is noble not to give in easily, the most alive people I've ever met are those who embrace their death. They love, laugh and live more fully.
Our immediate interests are after all of but small moment. It is what we do for the future, what we add to the sum of man's knowledge, that counts most. As someone has said, 'The individual withers and the world is more and more. ' Man dies at 70, 80, or 90, or at some earlier age, but through his power of physical reproduction, and with the means that he has to transmit the results of effort to those who come after him, he may be said to be immortal.
It is the peculiar nature of the forest, that life and death may ever be found within its bounds, in immediate presence of each other; both with ceaseless, noiseless advances, aiming at the mastery; and if the influences of the first be most general, those of the last are the most striking.
Some years ago, when the images which this world affords first opened upon me, when I felt the cheering warmth of summer and heard the rustling of the leaves and the warbling of the birds, and these were all to me, I should have wept to die; now it is my only consolation. Polluted by crimes and torn by the bitterest remorse, where can I find rest but in death?