We’re all gonna die
We’re all going to die. Sad, but kind of inevitable. I hope nobody is going to question that.
So, basically, every day, every minute, every second that we spend here on this earth we’re closer to death. Again, a really sad way to think about our existence, but one that gets too little credit, in my opinion.
We try not to think about it, because, obviously, it’s not the happiest of thoughts. But by doing that — by chasing away the thought that death is kind of a sure thing — we devalue our time.
I’m writing this while really tired and frustrated about several continuing projects that seem to go nowhere. While I keep banging my head against the wall, a thought keeps popping into my head — what’s the point? If I die tomorrow, or after a year, or ten years — what difference will the success of these projects will have made to my overall satisfaction with my life? How will I justify my time spent in meetings and conference calls and replying to endless emails? In what situation will that be more worthy to me than the time I spent with my family, friends, or simply reading a good book?
Same goes for other, much smaller details of our lives. My friend was very amused when I justified my reluctance to go to networking events or even talk to people that I didn’t find interesting with the same logic — every minute that passes is a minute closer to death. So why the hell am I spending these minutes talking to some douchebag and trying to be nice, keep the conversation flowing to seem polite and not hurt his feelings, when I could just turn around and go do something that I know will make me feel much better? Like, enjoy a sunset or write a blog post or talk to a friend, or just BE? How, in the end, will it make me feel — knowing that I spared some douchebag’s feelings instead of enjoying time with people that I know and love?
I know, this “memento mori” theme seems a bit morbid and dark. But I think putting things into a wider perspective sometimes is necessary.
We get so caught up in this “I have to do X” nonsense that without even understanding it, we become some mindless drones that keep repeating the same loop each day, trying to make everybody but the most important people in our lives feel good. We keep thinking about future profits and the good that will come out of our 80 hour workweeks and get so fixated on our future success that we completely deprive ourselves of the chance to actually enjoy the fruit of our labour.
We keep trying to earn more money, skip working out, because it’s useless, give up reading, because it doesn’t bring any direct profit… And then we end up spending the cash on medicine and exotic vacations, because our brain needs some kind of chemical or sensory overload to snap out of the endless loop of “I gotta do this”. Or even worse — our bodies start falling apart.
We repeat to ourselves that sleep is for the weak and being a workaholic is cool and that we will rest when we have that down payment for the house or when the lease is paid for or when we get that promotion or whatever other condition is met. And then when it’s done we find millions of other reasons to continue this spiral and neglect our loved ones and ourselves.
But if we just stop and think about this one inevitable (at least for the foreseeable future) constant in all of our lives — death, does the bigger house or the promotion after five years of neglecting ourselves really matter so much? Will our children be happier if we leave them with more stuff, without really getting to know them? Will we have led a happier life if we sacrifice our youth and health and friendships in order to get that raise or pay for the BMW 7 instead of a 3? Do we REALLY have more time to do both? Ar we SURE?
Of course, having a great job and coworkers can also be very satisfying, and our professional life shouldn’t all be considered as “time wasted” — I’m not saying that. As well as I’m not saying that everything we do in our personal, free time is truly valuable. What I’m trying to say, really, is that we should all valuate our existence not by stuff that we may accrue over the course of it, or the strangers that we might please just because we have to, but instead look at our closest and, of course, ourselves, and think — will this really matter to me in ten years? Or to them — when I’m gone?
Thanks for your time. You’re now 4 minutes closer to death. I hope it was worth it ;)
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