Friday, November 19, 2010

Memento Mori

"Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." Every religion and culture has it's way of reminding it's followers that they will one day return to the ground from which they came. Whether you believe in reincarnation, eternal life or that oblivion awaits you, the end still looms for every single one of us. It's a fact, no matter how much hard try to ignore it, no matter how many earthly possessions you try to fill your life with.

You are not your sports car, you are not your mansion, you are not the sum of all your material goods. Yes, I am paraphrasing "Fight Club". No, I'm not advocating nihilism. I'm not suggesting that we all give up modern technology, burn everything we own and retreat to some remote compound or anarchist society. I am asking that common sense prevail. Whether you believe in God, Allah, some other religious system or even nothing at all, stop and realize that all of this will be gone one day. We all get so caught up in chasing money, possessions and having the latest and greatest things that we forget that we're not enjoying life. You don't need to believe in a almighty deity to realize that on a long enough time line, everyone's chance of survival hits 0% and that you cannot take your bank account with you. Unless you are a child, chances are very good that in 100 years, you will not be here.

So what will matter? What are you doing right now that actually gives meaning to your existence? Which is more important, the new car or cell phone you want or time with your children? If your life was a book that would be read by everyone in a college class decades from now, would you be proud of it or would it be shown as an example of a wasted existence spent chasing useless crap? Think about it.


  1. Good post. When I was a kid it seemed things took for ever to come about. Just the mere anticipation of waiting on the things that we are looking forward to. Now as I approach 40, I am amazed that I have made it this far. Now the weeks fly by. I am sitting here on a friday wondering what happened to this week. It seems as if, when the nose is stuck to the grindstone, the perception of time blurs. On the way to an account today I was so deep in thought that when I arrived at the account, I couldn't remember any details of the trip. The trip was 35 minutes. This last saturday, we went and had family pictures made. Christian seemed a bit bothered by the trouble, and I realized that he has not figured out yet that time is blasting by so fast. Almost everyday I am reminded that things are really just temporary. Even the hard times. Some of the worst times in my life seem like ages ago, but in fact they are not that far back. It is weird how the perception of time changes with focus. I have lived long enough to try to avoid thoughts like, man I wish it was cobia season. Man, I wish it was winter and cold out. These kinds of thought diminish the living that you are able to do in one day. I have at times struggled under the weight of the feeling that there are just not enough hours in the day and I stay up late to try to stuff more in to the day and end up wasting the next. Carpe Diem...

  2. They say your perception of time speeds up as you grow older. Imagine how quickly the days would speed by if you were say 500? Of course this would explain why people in their 70s and 80s drive so slow?