It is better to fade away

Neil Young said it was better to burn out than to fade away –

I am not so sure. Whenever I meet people who are burning out, some part of them is torched and they are all out of balance, like their mental health, or their back, or their heart, or some other organ system. If you suddenly lose a part of you that has always worked, it is very difficult. But if all of you gets worse relatively slowly and simultaneously, in other words, you fade away, your can retain a sense of balance and habituate more easily. So we might do well to be thankful for the small ways that we start to come apart as we age. We are fading away, and it will make the inevitable future losses that are bound to come less shocking.

Another way that fading away is often  better than going out in a blaze of glory is in social interactions – be they negotiations or routine contact.  When you know you are done with someone, either temporarily or permanently, the worst thing you can do is tip them off by making a fuss. You don’t want them to know you are leaving if that is all you really want – for it to end. I am not talking about breakups and such. It is cruel not to face someone and give them an opportunity for closure.

And a not so gracious way to end a relationship.


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