“We are not the first generation to believe the worst possible thing to befall us is death. But for the ancients, the worst possible outcome was not death, but a dishonorable death, or even just a regular one. For a classical hero, dying in a retirement home with a rude nurse and a network of tubes coming into and out of your nose would not be the attractive telos for a life.
And, of course, we have this modern illusion that we should live as long as we can. As if we were each the end product. This idea of the “me” as a unit can be traced to the Enlightenment. And, with it, fragility.
Before that, we were part of the present collective and future progeny. Both present and the future tribes exploited the fragility of individuals to strengthen themselves. People engaged in sacrifices, sought martyrdom, died for the group, and derived pride from doing so; they worked hard for future generations.
Sadly, as I am writing these lines, the economic system is loading future generations with public governmental debt, causing depletion of resources, and environmental blight to satisfy the requirements of the security analysts and the banking establishment (once again, we cannot separate fragility from ethics).”
Excerpt From: Nassim Nicholas Taleb. “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder.”