We’re Only Here for a Short While

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Darkness calls upon us all, no matter what.

You might be an unfortunate individual with even more unfortunate luck coming your way. Or you could be a rich CEO, who owns two yachts and his own private jet. You could be the greatest scientific mind that the world has ever seen, solving complex formulas and successfully resolving the issues surrounding classical physics and modern quantum physics. Your work could bring about a huge change in how the smartest people in our world do business. You can already smell the Nobel prize. Even so–no matter the miraculous impacts that your decisions and interactions might have on those around you–we cannot forget that we are human. The proverbial timer is ticking down, no matter what your position within society might be. Man is on Earth for but a short while. And what happens when someone has shed their mortal coil? Everything about them disappears. Their brains turn off and every single part of their being is…gone. Well, “gone” as much as we can say with certainty. But there is something left. Something we often forget about. And that part is: Legacy.

Yes, the absolute goal no matter what you do in this life is to leave a legacy behind. Whether or not people will continue interacting with the leftover pieces of “you” (things you drew, painted, composed, sang, played, wrote, or something simple like a life philosophy that you helped others see and follow.) Whatever your medium for creative expansion might be, we have to acknowledge that it is something.

So again, the darkness always wins. No matter what we have done, or how many people we have changed for the better, we will still cease to exist at some point. Even if you believe in carrying on into the afterlife, it still doesn’t negate the fact that your reputation prior to death will continue to impact others for years to come (hopefully). Death itself doesn’t frighten me as much as it used to, but destroying a legacy does. I want to make a difference in the lives of the people who read my books/articles. I want people to promote my works even after I am long gone from this mortal realm. That, dear readers, is my idea of dying a happy death. For it comes to us all…we might as well feel good about the impact we have made upon others. The thoughts that never would have existed, had you not allowed them to see your work. Whether it’s music, or writing, or some other type of creative medium, someone, somewhere likes it and incorporates it into how they view the world around them. That is a true legacy, when you have done things in your lifetime that will cause others to still take an interest in your name. After all, we all seem to be on the same bus, nervously awaiting its final stop.

“Pale death with impartial tread, beats on the poor man’s cottage door and at the palaces of kings.” –Horace

The Tired Traveler

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Like a tired and weary traveler, all we desire in life is a moment of rest. A quiet mind and unburdened heart, a destination that is actually within our reach and that rewards us with our desired outcome. But also like the exhausted traveler, we cannot expect those things to find their way to us on their own. We must walk that road to get where we want to go. Decisions must be made, motivation must be found. We cannot assume that comfortable refuge will greet us without striving for it.

We are all tired travelers, and life is but a rough and rocky road. Our destination always seems out of sight until we are nearly upon it. What lies at the end of the road is relatively unknown, no matter what our preconceived hopes may be. There is one thing that is certain, though:  If we do not find the drive to continue–or if we do not dream of what we want that destination to be–we will surely never find out. We cannot simply hope that things will be as they should, or that some miraculous stroke of luck will ease our worldly pains. A vision must be had, and action must be taken. A calm state of mind and positive thoughts will only get us so far. Sure, it’s good to avoid melancholy feelings. But doing so will only perpetuate our current situation, and will do nothing to advance us down the road which we are traveling.

Our hopes and dreams are often mired and hard to find. The saying, “Everyone has a dream,” is not always true. For some of us, our destination in life is quite clear. For others, however, it seems nearly impossible to find where they want to be. This makes for a dark road to travel on, indeed, but something can always be done to reveal a promising pursuit. We merely need to explore the world we live in, think on the things we have learned, and always seek to expand our understanding of everything around us. Doing so will eventually reveal a destination, and it will also make inner peace easier to obtain. No matter what happens, one thing in life is certain:  We are all suffering from the Human Condition, and we are all tired and weary travelers on a road of seemingly endless distance. Too often we fail to realize that there are many, many others on that road, even if we have differing destinations.