Tag Archives: discussing death

Death Cafe and reflections on attitude

I attended a Death Cafe at Stockton University last week, and was lucky enough to be seated with four students and another community member. Here are some thoughts…

Dear Students,

I was so happy join you at Stockton’s Death Café! Your willingness to do something different on a Friday afternoon warmed my heart. I feel worried, however, about some of the advice you were getting, namely all the messages about the importance of attitude and your ability to accomplish ANYTHING.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for determination, a good attitude and hard work. But how are you going to feel, ten years down the road, if things aren’t going so well? Are you going to blame…yourself? Not constructive, and IMHO, not correct.

Some barriers you will face are outside of your control. Some are institutional and deeply entrenched. Certain aspects of American life are getting worse, due to institutional changes. Consider the student loan system, coupled with the very rapid increase in the cost of higher education.

Here’s a book I recommend:

Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America

What about our discussion of death? I hope the freedom to talk about it helped you to feel less anxious. Life is full of mysteries, but we’re all in this together. I wish each of you a healthy life and a satisfying career!