During our final moments one can only wish to be surrounded by loved ones with a mind full of jovial memories. Arriving at the final destination it seems inevitable to ponder upon our life, internal dialogue weighing positive action against sordid conduct. Individuals observing their existence to be immoral will habitually manifest delusions to erode responsibility for nefariousness, these fallacies building a barrier between reality and the expiring entity’s quest for contentment. An individual may die deceiving themselves about their noble temperament, but their true worth will reside in their residual affect on others.
The meaning of life varies for all and we define our disposition by committing to an ideology or endeavour. Every individual creates their own purpose, yet if we want to live up to our name as nature temporary manifestation its auspicious to aim to leave the earth better than when we found it.
On the daily stroll towards Hades one must stop and comprehend how they would like their life to be seen once it ceases; do they want people to admire them for their wealth or morality? Athleticism or integrity? Occupation or virtue? As one’s vitality dissolves into the narrative of history how will they be remembered becomes the prodigious thought concerning the writing of their final chapters.
Falsehoods can be created to adorn oneself in the appearance of satisfaction, but true serenity follows the individual who is compelled to uphold and improve their environment; like Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Living a life that improves the world doesn’t require an astonishing career or outstanding abilities, it is a person who accepts the hand dealt by cosmos and endeavours to live candidly, guided by connotations of morality and authenticity.
A fruitful way people observe their impact on reality comes from their offspring. Having a child is arguably one of the most detrimental decisions a person can make towards the planet, therefore it’s propitious, if not expected if entering into this arrangement the mind of the infant be sculpted with a critical and gracious chisel. Parents blessed with babies harness the capability to mould their morals, ethics and values according to what they consider conducive to a honourable existence. Giving their spawn every advantage to push past the horizon of their own life is a universal goal of parenting; commitment to the task cannot be taken lightly.
A noble human sentiment, dedicating one’s life to bettering another’s isn’t only discovered in parents but also teachers, coaches, nurses, volunteers, activists; it resides in everyone, although not all will seek to shine light upon it. While actions can indicate selflessness it need be assured that generosity is aptly offered and doesn’t propagate iniquity, to assist people yet not at the expense of others.
The Avaricious Household
Public figures who were able to hide their despicable nature before death have routinely been scratched from history, a barrage of slander smearing every last ounce of dignity the name once possessed. Accolades and awards will be nothing more than identifiers of the past, our affect on those we leave behind, however, will be our real legacy.
It cannot be stated that generating an inflated bank account to bequeath to one’s family isn’t honourable, but how the money was acquired and what time and experience were lost in its procurement is salient to meriting admiration. When meaning is derived from the acquisition of capital a person is susceptible to depravity, others becoming abstractions rather than people. Seen recurrently is the children of affluent individuals having an insatiable approach to living, in trying to engender a better life for their offspring they strip connection to their fellow human, unless they occupy equal or higher social footing.
The self-centred approach to life will provide some good moments, although they are like the decadence of eating obscene amounts of chocolate. Endorphins are activated as one shovels in more, yet, when luxury turns to gluttony sickness always follows. The disease of avarice ensures a deluded perception of reality blinding the avenues to true contentment, when someone is constantly craving enough will never suffice.
“Riches do not exhilarate us so much in their possession as they torment us with their loss.” Epicurus’ remark holds its veracity thousands of years on. The more one acquires the more one has to loose, skewing an unfavourable appearance to outsiders. In pursuing one’s greed people destined to continually quest for more; never satisfied with what they hold, they remain envious of what is in the palms of others.
Bystander to Active Force
Oscar Wilde wrote, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; some whenever they go”; we must decide for ourselves which we would like to be. To have quality information for inspection on one’s deathbed an individual must first live their memories.
During life many seldom reflect on what their future self would say about the courses of action selected, overshadowed by the immediate impact their choices make on the world. It is more frequently the little decisions we make which greatly shape our disposition rather than those conspicuous – it is how we arrive at our judgement not the judgment itself. If one loses sight of their place in earth’s orbit the mind often begins to think the sun is circling them.
With this indulgent attitude people neglect anything that doesn’t concern them, “Why focus on the them over there when it doesn’t affect me here?” a common thought accompanying the mentality. Unbeknownst to these people in helping others we actually helps ourselves, like Ghandi’s aforementioned quote by enriching the lives of others one stops being a bystander and morphs into an active force.
The happiness found in altruism is boundless; whether helping a grand parent with a smart phone, taking an eager dog for a walk, helping in a food kitchen or planning a surprise party, taking time and investing it into the lives of others nourishes the soul. Whilst material depreciates from the moment it is exists, altruism lingers in the cosmos’ ethos.
Comparative philosopher Julian Baggini wrote, “ If you recognize yourself in another, treating the other as yourself becomes not an abstract duty but second nature.” This statement is also true with nature herself.
Everything living is Gaia’s temporary manifestation and allowing her process to flourish is essential to all existence. One can show nature gratitude and redeem humanity by picking up the decay caused by senseless individuals who believe it’s appropriate to litter her magnificence. With this type of behaviour we transform into active agents of change, our eyes attune to witness the interdependence of all and are humbled to be part of such an elaborate and intimate experience.
Everyone has the opportunity to become more than themselves by acting in the interest of the current and future inhabits of the planet. In this symbiotic reality, if one believes they don’t owe the world anything their vanity prevents them from attaining anything of real substance.
As the reapers hand draws near those knowing their positive influence on others will welcome their conclusion with a cheerful temperament, the opposing individual will shutter with fear at losing everything they’ve exchanged life for.
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Put simply by The Beatles, it is what we give to life which we get back from it. By lightening the burden carried by others we deepen the soul and mature into truly sentient beings.
Image Source: Feliks K