I have seen cancer patients after going through rigorous chemotherapy lead a normal happy life. People who undergo trial and tribulation in life more often than not, will end up strong and powerful.
We want to live because we want to experience life, the beauty of watching our children grow up, enjoying work which we love to do and enjoying thinking about things we like to think. Of course without life, we cannot do all those thing. With life, we submit to God (Allah SNT) and the mankind. People choose to survive because they had things they still wanted to to see and do. Hence, survival is a choice.
If there is an instinct to survive, surely it would be felt strongly in a person who had survive cancer, life-threatening accident, earthquake and war.
Instinct to survive get transmitted through a person’s inner strength. Strong principle in life, high spiritual belief and practice strengthen the inner strength. This in turn improve the immune system. Through this, one survive. The whole cycle is summarized as ‘the will to live”.
Having a goal to live make lives meaningful. But to perform better than that, perhaps the key to survival is to search for the true meaning of life.