The greatest fear in the world is death. Why? Because no one knows what happens to you after you die. It is recorded that there are 4,300 different religions in the world. With so much variety, how can you be sure that your religion’s afterlife is the real one? The only answer to this is: you can’t. You can’t even be sure that there is an afterlife. This is one of those questions like, “Does the universe go on forever or will time stop?” We may never know the answer to questions like these. That is why I believe that the best thing to do is to not let yourself be plagued by such thoughts. Thus, the question becomes, how will you make yourself immortal on earth, rather than what happens when you die? Will you have a lasting effect on this place or will you simply let your time pass by without changing the world?
Most of the fears in this world are related to death. Why are we scared of flying? Because you can perish in a plane crash. But if we didn’t fly, how could we find time to travel the world and witness the wonders of so many different cultures? Unfortunately, many people let their fears get the best of them, and thus, miss out on life. We are afraid of something that we can’t understand. With so little time given on earth, why waste it frightened of something we can’t control? Oskar Schindler saved thousands of lives during the Holocaust, fully of aware of the punishment that he could face for his actions. He could have easily let the fear of death succumb his life, yet, his courageous actions shone threw the clouds of death. Mr. Schindler could not have ever imagined the way in which so many people would remember him as a hero. For his actions he will never die; he will live on in the memories and hearts of mankind forever. I hope that one day, I may do the same. I cannot change what will happen after I die, but I can change how long I will live on this earth. I want to live eternally, in the hearts of those living after I am dead. That way I can live on with them, forever.
The mystery of death horrifies us all. It gets the best of us at some point in our lives. We irrationally make decisions on the basis of our fears. I believe what Eleanor Roosevelt believed. I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do. So if you are afraid of heights, skydive. If you are afraid of the water, swim in an ocean. If you are afraid of death, live. I believe that we shouldn’t fear what happens after we die. I believe the only thing we should fear is not making ourselves remembered.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.