You're born crying. You're scared and covered in blood and completely incapable of keeping yourself alive—but slowly you start to learn things: how to walk, how to eat, how to maintain your own fragile existence. It's not easy, but you sustain, and that's how the years trickle past. And then, after 80 or so years, just when you've finally figured out how to live, it's time to die. And that's life.
Now, imagine you're dead and you knew the sheer amount of hard work it takes to stay alive. Not to mention all the misery, stupidity, waste and cruelty this Earth throws at all inhabiting it. Would you want to come back? Or would you just kick back in the darkness?
To find out how much the general public values life, we took this question to the streets of Melbourne. And here's what people said.
Aurelle, 18, student
VICE: Hey Aurelle, if you were to die this afternoon, and you had the chance to be reincarnated, would you take it?
Aurelle: Um, no. Life’s too much of a pain. I'd rather stay dead.
Yeah? Do you feel like once you’ve had a good life, you would just be ready to be done?
It doesn’t matter what kind of life you’ve had. If you’ve had a bad life, I doubt you’d want to go back to. If you had a good life, you’d probably be fine to go. It doesn’t really matter.
Matthew, 26, office worker
Hey Matthew, stay dead or get reincarnated?
I'd be reincarnated. I need to see Richmond win another premiership. I’m not ready to go until that happens.
What if that didn’t happen in your next lifetime?
I’ll be very disappointed. I’d just keep getting reincarnated until I see it happen. Is that an option?
Yeah, I guess you could do that. Is there anything else you feel like you have to do before you die?
I haven’t really been to Europe. I also haven’t done South America yet, I’d really like to do that.
Eloise, 24, future student advisor
What's it going to be Eloise? Permanent death or reincarnation?
Look, I just feel like I have one life to live, and I’m quite happy with how my life has gone, so I wouldn’t want to take the chance on another life in case it was bad.
Right. So, you'd be pretty happy if you just dropped dead this afternoon?
Yeah, I think so. I'm also just not really keen to take a gamble on my second life, if that makes sense. And also, life is hard. I don’t want to go through that shit again.
What is it about your life that you’re so content with though?
I have a good family, a good job. I’ve obviously had personal challenges, but I’ve never been through any great hardship. So, I would say my life has been a success.
Blake, 18, education student
Hey Blake, if you died today and had the chance to be reincarnated, would you take it?
I would. I definitely would. I feel like I still have so much more to give. I want to give more to this world and do more. I feel like I haven’t really done much with my life.
What if it meant getting reincarnated as someone who gives even less than you?
But maybe if I kept getting reincarnated, eventually something positive would happen. Or maybe something would happen in that lifetime. I feel like something has to happen, like, eventually.
Claire, 23, marketing assistant
Let's say you die this afternoon. Would you want to be reincarnated?
Um, yes, I would be reincarnated, however I’m an environmentally anxious person, so I think if I came back as anything, it would have to be helpful to the environment and the preservation of everyone else’s lives. I’d have to come back as someone who would help the environment.
Okay, but you don’t have the choice. You could come back as anything. Maybe a lumberjack. Maybe even Barnaby Joyce.
That’s such a hard question! Ok, I think I wouldn't take it then. I wouldn’t want to witness the decay of the environment. That scares me. I’d just stay dead.
Steve, 34, designer
Hey Steve, dead or reincarnated?
Reincarnated thanks. Mostly because I would want to come back as something interesting, something I haven’t been able to be in this life. To be honest, I just want to come back as something that can fly.
Like a moth?
I was thinking a bird. That’d be quite cool, like an eagle.
But what if you came back as something that can’t fly? Would you still be keen?
Um, it would all depend on what it was, I think. Like, if I came back as like a slug or something, I wouldn’t be happy. I probably wouldn’t want to come back as that. I probably also wouldn’t want to come back as a rock. That’d be very boring.
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