The Washington PostThe Washington Post

If you could, would you want to know when you will die?

By Steven Petrow

29 Jan 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

If you knew when you were going to die, how would you change the way you live? The Washington Post explores this idea and arguing that the depth of life, rather than the length, is what truly matters.

Would you want to know when you're going to die? I've thought about this question quite a bit recently.

Several months ago, I picked up a new novel titled "The Measure" by Nikki Erlick, which opens with quite the plot twist. One morning, everybody on the planet (ages 22 and up) wakes up to a surprise at their front door: a small wooden box, personally engraved, with the words: "The measure of your life lies within." Each box contains a string whose length determines the length of the recipient's life.

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