I went fishing this morning, and hooked the largest trout I have ever seen in person. She fought hard—so hard, in fact, that her little two-chambered heart just couldn't keep up in the end. After several minutes, it became apparent that she just wasn't going to be able to swim away. It was for me a moment both sad and beautiful. Sad because I really came with no intent to harm such a lovely creature, but beautiful in the fashion that the struggle of life is always beautiful, be it ever so futile. Here was something that, incapable of even the thought of being something it was not, died simply to be what it was.
It's strange how much effort humans devote to showing themselves to the world to be something other than what they are, how much energy most of us devote to convincing the folks around us—and ourselves—that the image we project is the substance of being. If other living things had time to worry about something other than being what they are, I suspect they'd hold us in quite a bit of contempt. I know I do.