This is My Public Will

Robin Greenfield swimming.
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I’m 27 years old now and it’s August 24th 2014. At this point I don’t plan on being dead for quite some time. I write this only to be prepared for the possibility, and to make the information available so that it can be used upon my death.

As much as I’d like to live on this earth in the manner that I am accustomed to for another five or so decades, I’m also ok with dying sooner because I’ve learned to look at the bigger picture.

There are over seven billion people on this planet and I am just one. Beyond that there are millions of other species totaling up to an uncountable number of lives, each going about their own meaning.

To think that I matter so greatly that my life is a necessity for this earth, well, I think that would be somewhat absurd. However, I do believe that we are all meaningful and that we all matter. I just accept my impermanence and humanities likely impermanence on this planet.

Death is as much of a part of life as birth and I accept that. I know many people have not accepted that and when I die there will likely be some people that will wish I was still here. They will be more than all right though, and reading this will should help to understand where I am coming from.

First and foremost, I am writing this to make sure that nothing ridiculous is done to deal with my dead body. To use precious resources or cause unnecessary environmental harm in order to put my body to rest would be to spite me after my death.

No coffin is needed. I don’t want a big machine to dig a hole for my body. Please, no burning fossil fuels (flying, driving, etc.) to gather in one place for a ceremony. And if there is a service I’d like one that requires no resource input. Money will not be needed to deal with my death.

Of course I know some people would like to have a gathering, and if that is the case I would like it to be of the utmost simplicity. Better yet, rather than one gathering that everyone must travel to, please keep the gatherings local so that unnecessary travel is not undertaken. Please ride a bike, walk, or take public transportation and make sure to be inclusive of anybody who’d like to be involved.

In an ideal world my body will not be present, as I will have felt that the time was right and I will have wandered into nature to return my physical self to the earth in a natural manner. Or I will have unintentionally died in a remote place. My body will serve as nutrients for whatever animals choose to eat me, the larvae of whatever insects lay their eggs in my body, the microbes in the soil that decompose the last bits of me, and ultimately the trees and plants that incorporate my elements into their growth.

If I haven’t managed to slip away and die please make sure that I am given a natural burialideally on land that serves a better function than just holding bodies and tombstones. Any land where I am incorporated into the land will do, but not land where it is than taken over by my burial. This means no cemetery, unless it is a cemetery that is designed as a forest for enjoyment or something along those lines.

Rather than a standing-around type gathering, I’d like for you to do something to benefit the earth, your community and yourself. Please do this in an enjoyable, positive manner rather than in mourning. Celebrate the good that I have done and dedicate some of your time to doing good as well. Give appreciation for the life that you have, and the life that the earth provides to you. 

I would be honored for you to commemorate the life that I have dedicated to the earth in one of these manners:

Volunteer in service of others.

Distribute your wealth and resources to create a more equitable, just society.

Get together with friends for a nice bike ride. Cycle around your city smiling at everyone you see and brighten the days of the people you pass by.

Plant some fruits or veggies and make them free for anyone to enjoy. Plant them in your front yard, a community garden, in a public place, anywhere that they will be seen and accessible. Share your bounty!

If the global food waste scandal has not been solved yet, then go dumpster diving and prepare a meal for people you love and people in need. In this manner you will be able to share nutrition and health while decreasing waste that is destined for the landfill, all without spending a penny.

Prepare a healthy meal of local food for people in your community who don’t otherwise have access to a wonderful meal like this. Spend compassionate time with them.

Go for a swim instead of taking a shower. For just one day embrace your natural body and forgo all the accessories that you think you need to be clean and healthy.

Go for a walk in the woods and enjoy life.

Lastly, for what most people focus on in their will, material possessions and money. As I write this I am learning to live a full and abundant life without the use of money.

I have found my greatest happiness in the service of others and I have learned how to meet my simplest and most important demands of food, water, clothing, shelter and friendship without the use of money. I have found great purpose and value in a life of non-ownership, and thus have shared my earnings and possessions with others rather than collecting up as much as I can. Because of that I probably won’t have much to leave behind in this way.

However, if I do have money, please donate it to the nonprofits listed here. If I have possessions, please give them away to people who can use them well, or auction them and give all of the proceeds to the nonprofits I’ve listed.

To sum up this will in a few sentences, when I die please:

-Use no resources or money to deal with my body.

-Commemorate my life by spreading health and happiness around you (or if you don’t care just go on living your life).

-Give everything I have, if there is anything, to nonprofits that will use it to make the world a happier, healthier place.

I have chosen to live a life that aims to benefit all for the sake of all, not for the sake of any god. However, if the teachings of some of the major religions are correct, I may be off to an eternity in hell. Not because I did anything wrong but simply because my service was not in the name of their god. However, my thought is that those rules and ideas were just human made and are likely to be untrue, so there is no need to fret an eternity in hell. If the soul can leave my physical body and continue on in another manner, I just hope it continues to do good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this life was all that I had. That is why I tried to give it all I had. I could only be certain that I had this life to live, all the rest was speculation. I’ll have died with a full life behind me and I’m happy to have had this time on Earth.

May you all reconnect with the health and happiness that is free and available to us.



Note: I will make changes to this will as needed throughout my life. Last updated 08/14/2020.

Addition 01/08/2015- I am adding instructions for what to do if I end up in a hospital unable to communicate. Please do not have large sums of money and resources spent to keep me alive. This means if I am going to die and it takes expensive machines and large amounts of resources and money to keep me alive, just let me die. If I have gone nearly brain dead from an accident of some sort and am barely functional, please kill me. The bottom line is don’t waste a large amount of resources to keep me alive. I am one of many beings, spend your time and resources on something more worthy. Although If I’m in a coma in a log cabin or something like that, and it seems like I might come out of it, there’s no need to kill me, as long as someone wants to sit in the cabin with me.

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