I am going to die. You are going to die.
I’m sorry, but it’s true.
We are destined for death.
Why am I thinking about this?
Is it the rekindled daily meditation practice? The more frequent visits to the local civil war era cemetery? I don’t know.
The two regained their regularity at roughly the same time which you can read about here.
While unsure of the exact root, something is stirring a more abrupt awareness of my mortality.
My time at the cemetery is not to visit anyone in particular. And to be sure I am not a morose fella, far from it. In fact, my own death is something I have thought very little about. Not simply as a function of young-ish age, but that of a life, seemingly at least, well lived.
Often you will hear me say, “If I go tomorrow, I had a pretty good run.” Again, not morbid, just an awareness. I really do feel this way, and have for a long time.
Undeniably, there is something about being amongst the tombstones with their varied headlines, ages and apparent care that immediately brings to surface the big questions.
Why am I here?
Why does it matter?
Am I on my own path… or someone else’s?
Questions “for the ages” as it were…
At the same time however, a stroll there can’t help but put just-about-damn-near-anything in perspective.
You at once submit to the notion that whatever it is your facing…at least your alive…while at the same time coming to the conclusion that, really (and I mean really, really) none of it matters.
Who was the 11th president? Who designed the San Francisco Bay Bridge…or the Twin Towers? Name more than 3 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Who won the ’76 World Series? Or American Idol 5 years ago?
Likely, you can’t. And that’s ok.
The fact remains however, that these were people at the very effin’ top of their game.
Even with the advance of technology giving us every piece of information at our finger tips… just a short while later…very short in terms the the span of human existence on this pale blue dot… we have forgotten them.
They were forgotten. You will be forgotten. I will be forgotten.
This, I propose, is why the great masters and sages of our times point to things like love, happiness and kindness as the purposes of life.
You are meant to enjoy your life…whatever that means for you. There is no reason to be an asshole, as I shared in yesterday’s post. What I think most of us have found also is that stuff….isn’t making us happy. More stuff. More work to pay for the stuff. More money spent buying things you don’t need to impress people you don’t even care about. Like the rest of The Broken Camels.
Love. Happiness. Kindness. Simplicity. It all seems so… simple… doesn’t it?
But it isn’t simple. Is it?
The vast majority of us will spend the best years of our lives working for an unappreciative boss or working our way up a corporate ladder or government hierarchy, only to be forgotten.
Unless you’re James Polk however. The 11th President of the United States. He will never be forgotten, right?
The next time you’re faced with a decision I hope you choose happy. Choose kind. Choose experience over stuff. Whether that be your own, or participating in the experience of those around you.
See you on the journey.