Every time you are in the vicinity of death, something changes. A certain part of you grows, matures, thinks, wonders. Life is uncertain, yes, but seeing that uncertainty float in the air, right before your eyes, makes you question the very essence of life.
Often times, I have thought that our lives are reflected in the eyes of other people. Once you leave this mortal world, the only thing that matters is how you live in the memories of people, if at all you live. That thought changed yesterday.
I was part of a memorial for a colleague, and people he’d known professionally poured in large numbers to offer their condolences and pen their thoughts in a little black book. The book will most likely be given to his family, and probably contains very fond memories. And you know what? He’ll never know. He’ll never know how people spoke of him, remembered him, missed him. He’s gone. May he rest in peace.
It brings me back to my feeble assessment of life. How you may or may not be remembered doesn’t matter at all; once you are gone, that is your only reality. Is there something that could evaluate our lives better? The definition of a successful life varies greatly. Some define it by money, others by fame, status, relationships and accomplishments. No one knows what it means to lead a full life; no one that is, if you discount what other people think. No one knows either, what it means to be happy, though I suppose those who truly are don’t need to ask the question.
I guess my point is that if you believe that death is really the end of life on earth, the closer you get to it, the less your actions matter. Assuming that death is uncertain, you can never exactly know how near or far from it you are, shrinking the probability that your actions will have consequences. An anti-karma theory, aye?
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I’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star.
In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life.
Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.