What if you could live forever?
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tuck Everlasting, the lovely folks at Macmillan have asked me to muse on the question of what if you really could drink from a secret spring and become immortal! My first instinct was of course “Omg yes then I could read ALL THE BOOKS.” However, this question kept rattling around in my head and my memories from reading Tuck Everlasting in school drifted back to the surface. This of course is a question that is addressed often in speculative fiction and most of the time the answer seems to always come back to “Well, there are some major downsides that kind of balance out the upsides soooooo…. maybe?” And then my thoughts started to get pretty deep, so this discussion is actually going to end up being a bit deeper than expected, you’ve been warned ;-).
Want to buy the gorgeous 40th Anniversary edition? Go to Macmillan’s page to buy it straight from them :D.
More and more I’m realizing that I have no chance of reading all the books that come out, or even all the books that I’m a bit interested in, since there are so so many. And assuming that publishing doesn’t go out of business anytime soon, being immortal wouldn’t really help that problem ;-). Therefore, I am discarding my original reaction of wanting to live forever in order to read all the books on my lists, ha.
Death isn’t that scary
A lot of plots seem to revolve around the idea that someone wants to escape death because they fear it or just really don’t want to die. I’ve never been in a near-death situation, so I of course can’t say what I’d actually feel when truly confronted by mortality, but I have to admit that the idea of dying someday at a ripe old age having lived a full life doesn’t really scare me at all. I already feel like I’ve lived a pretty awesome life and have made at least a bit of a contribution to the world. Obviously all things considered I’d like to go on having fun and doing productive things, but I try to live without regrets or things hanging over my head, so I’m not worried about things left undone.
What really gets me leaning towards the side of drinking from the spring is wanting to see what amazing discoveries will come next. Being a scientist kind of requires a thirst for knowledge and endless curiosity. This means for me that the idea of not getting to see what amazing things humankind discovers and creates pains me greatly. We’ve already made such insane leaps of discovery just in my lifetime and things will continue to increase until something really big happens, good or bad. My life these days is devoted to finding the unanswered questions and trying to answer small parts of them, so I really really really want to know what the full answer is darn it! Also I want to be alive to see the discovery of life on other planets >.>.
The problem, of course, of not aging is that you have to hide, and that is going to be more and more difficult in the US at least given the direction technology and policy is going… so it’d be really interesting to see a rehash of Tuck Everlasting in today’s technological age! Man, they would have a hard time…. So I think I’ll decide not to drink despite the temptation because I really don’t want to turn into a science experiment myself D:
Would you want to live forever? What tempts you to immortality? Keep the conversation going with #Tuck40th on Twitter :D.
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