Recently, I lost my job, but then found a new one within only five days. A fluke, to be sure, as it usually has taken weeks or months to do so, in the past. Now, after only two months, I have been laid off for lack of work, as so many are facing these days.

Someone I know was concerned that I may become depressed enough to use my new shotgun on myself, but, rest assured, that’s not in my plans, nor in my nature. I will eventually find a job again, just as I always have before. Nevertheless, this comment from a concerned friend led me to write the following:

There is nothing in death that I would ever prefer to even the worst of what life has to offer me. There is no harsh circumstance, no hardship, no pain I could ever endure that would cause me to want an end to my life. True, I would wish for an end to whatever suffering I might be going through at the moment, but that ending would be the end of my pain, not my life.

Why? How can I say this when so many human beings, faced with unspeakable horrors and unbearable pain and suffering have begged for death as a release from it? I can say this because it is my firm belief that, no matter how bad things may get, life is always preferable to death. The reason this is so is because, if one still has life, one has the ability and will, eventually, have the opportunity to come back – to rebound, to recover from whatever hell they are going through at the moment of their deepest despair.

If you opt, instead, for the release that death brings, you will end your pain and suffering, yes. However, when death comes to us, it is final and ultimate and once done it can never be undone. So, be careful what you wish for. In death, you may find an eternal release from all worldly cares and suffering, but in death you will also find the end of any means you might have had to conquer your foes, to right the wrongs, to recover from your setbacks.

It is the ability to come back that is so important, here. How many times have we all seen or heard of a “comeback” by a washed up actor or recording artist, for example? How many times has that comeback resulted in them not only regaining their career, but of going on to have an even better career than ever before? John Travolta comes to mind. As a young actor, just starting out, he met with early success and fame in his role as Vinny Barberino on the hit sitcom Welcome Back Kotter. But, when that series was canceled, so was his fledgling career as an actor. He didn’t work again for many years, until Quentin Tarrantino, a then obscure director/producer, himself, had a role for him as a hit man in the dark and quirky Pulp Fiction. It was Pulp Fiction that became Travolta’s comeback and he has enjoyed far greater fame and fortune ever since than he ever had before. He would have never achieved this if the vehicle for his comeback had never existed.

Life is your vehicle for your own comebacks. It is what enables us to carry on and, indeed, without it, there literally is nothing left to carry on with. As long as you continue to draw breath, you possess the ability to act, and it is action that will right all the wrongs, remove your pain and suffering and bring improvement. If life is discarded completely, it is irrevocably gone forever – and with it, all chance of ever recovering from whatever temporary setbacks besiege you. In our moment of pain, in our darkest hour, many of us lose sight of this simple but all-important fact: that life, no matter how bad it may become, always contains within itself the opportunity for you to become something better than you were before. In life, we find the means to recover and heal, to repair whatever damages have been done to us. In death, we lose all of our abilities forever.

So, whatever pain or sorrow you may find yourself facing, now or in the future, never lose sight of the fact that life, as harsh as it may be sometimes, is the great enabler. He who has life has everything. He who has life has the whole world – and another chance.