A Friday morning musing. Inspired by this.
It’s all fleeting.
I have a limited time in this world. Each minute, my life is expiring. I am walking toward my death, as is everyone else.
What do I want before I die? I don’t want much. I don’t want things. I don’t care about reaching any goals. I am at peace with who I am. I am at peace with the naturalness of death and the short life I have. My life span of 60-80 years, compared to the 14 billion years of the universe, is a brief flash. I matter as much as a blade of grass in a football field, or a speck of sand on a beach. My mind is free from the chasing and yearning. I am ready to die everyday.
Some want to be recognized by other people. “I want to be remembered fondly. I want to be the best this, best that. I want to leave a mark. I want to make a difference.” But they forget that reputation matters none once they are dead. Praises and condemnations are meaningless to the corpses, either burnt into ashes or decomposed underground. The souls, well I don’t know anything about that so I won’t guess. Even if memories of yourself are kept in the minds of many people, one day they will be dead too. One day the existence of you will be completely forgotten.
Be at peace with being forgotten.
Everything you ever were, ever did, ever created, ever thought, ever dreamed will no longer matter one day. Gone without a trace. The Earth will go on with different people on it. One day, even the Earth will cease to exist too.
If you are worried or upset about something in your life, ask yourself, “Will this matter 100 years from now?”. A troubled mind is worse than death, as it takes away the precious moments in the short life you have.
Focus on here and now. No past, no future. They don’t matter. Live a good life. How? The first step to completely detach from the externals (things not in your control). Be indifferent about sickness, bad reputation, poverty, and death. Those are not yours to control, so don’t feel like you have to feel anything about them. Also be indifferent about their opposites. They cannot upset you. Only your judgement can.
Disregard how other people treat you or what they think of you. Such are external too. Disregarding does not mean ignoring them. You can, and should, think about their actions and attitudes, but then do not judge them. Detach emotionally. Do not be angry. Be wise. They have reasons to act foolishly and say things that seem upsetting. Try your best to understand those reasons and realize that they have nothing to do with you. Realize that nobody can make you unhappy. It is your perception of their words and actions that is able to.
That is the first step: disregard things beyond your control. Then, go to the second and final step: Do what you think is right. Use your wisdom to select actions you feel is appropriate. Live each moment with a virtuous mind, and gracefully accept life and death as they come.
The first step is very important. Go from there.
Make this brief, fleeting existence a good one.