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Death

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There is always one definite in life, death. Death is a universal event that occurs across cultures. Specifically, every culture deals with death differently, but in a broader sense, all cultures base their customs upon death. It is no surprise that people live their lives in preparation for their ultimate demise. A common descriptor of all humans is the eventual loss of life. Death is the equalizer of all humans, no matter what one has done with their life they will die, just as their fellow dwellers of the world. Humans are faced with the fear of death throughout their lifetime; this is central to all human nature. How a person reacts to their fear is that which makes a human different from the next. Humans understand that they will die and are afraid of their mortality; these are both facts that define human nature.

When a person faces the death of a loved one, they are also facing their own mortality. Suddenly, one faces the fact whomever or whatever one loves will vanish, furthering the fact every human will leave the physical world behind. Benedict focuses on a Northwest Coast culture, which believes death to be the ultimate insult. People in this culture believe that when they experience the death of a family member they must wipe out this person's death by killing an innocent person. One can find parallels with this belief in western civilization. When someone dies, family members begin to blame others for the death of their loved one. The "blame game" can be found in many different actions the family could possibly take. The family wants to find whoever is at fault for the death and bring them to justice. Justice can come in a variety of ways, the death penalty, lawsuits, or ostracizing others, these actions help the family with their grief. After receiving justice, the death is wiped out and the family can continue with their lives. In each culture, one can find the need to "wipe out" the death by getting revenge in some way.

Another way that humans deal with the inevitability of death is finding some type of religion. Every culture believes there is a meaning to life and these thoughts are undeniably their religion. Although, there is no proof there is life after death, many people gain solace in the fact they will live on forever, furthering their constant fear of death. Death cannot be thought to be the absolute end because this would make life devoid of all meaning. Religion is the central state that controls the cultures thoughts and beliefs about death. Cultures use religion as a way to cope with death and the mortality of all humans.

A person deals with his or her own mortality throughout their lives. Our instinct to survive shapes who we are and what we do; humans base their decisions on the importance of survival. Although our own survival techniques may be different to that of our ancient ancestors or separate cultures, everyone has a primal instinct to survive and it remains the driving force in the lives of humans today. Humans struggle every day to adapt to their environment hoping to further their survival rate. The need for self-preservation motivates humans to carefully construct their lives fearful that any decision can shorten their time on earth. The basic instinct of survival also relates to procreation. Humans believe that after death their legacy can live on through their offspring, therefore, they never truly die. Humans' basic survival

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