In ancient Rome, when a general had won a great victory, he would be given the honor. He would rife in a chariot led by a team of four white horses. Dressed in a gold and purple toga, wearing a golden laurel crown and his men marching before him. The enemies of Rome would be in chains stepping in front of him as well as all the captured treasures from his campaigns. In the midst of all this spectacle, a slave would be in the chariot with him. He would hold the golden crown above his masters head and whisper in his ear, “you are only a man.”
Even the Romans knew that we can let things go to our head and forget who we are and where we come from. It doesn’t matter how much money you gain, how famous you become or how much influence you gain. You are only human, and you are going to die. Nothing you can do can change that. So why try right? Rape, murder, and pillage to your hearts contempt. Nothing matters because you’re going to die and you might as well enjoy the ride before it ends, right?
If all that’s true then why isn’t the world in a constant state of anarchy? Because the fact that you’re going to die, is what makes this life so sweet and so precious after all. I’m no theologian, and I’m an amateur philosopher at best. Nihilism is just another ISM that leads nowhere. Be careful the things and people you idolize because that can lead to a bleak end where nothing you did really matters after all.
We cannot live forever but what we become and what we do can have effects that live on, long after we die. You can choose to be a serial killer or a heart surgeon. You can be a great artist or a receptionist at a doctors office. Whatever you want, make sure the choice is yours, make sure you chose it for your own reasons and tried to do some good for someone or something before you are gone. Don’t dedicate your life to selfless service. Live your life for you and be selfless for the sake of being selfless once in a while. Less you sacrifice all of who you are or what you are for someone else entirely. By simply being you, the world will be better because of it. If you aren’t doing it now, you better hurry up. Remember, you’re going to die.
Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.
– Ernest Hemmingway