“The life given us by nature is short, but the memory of a life well spent is eternal.” These are the words of Cicero, a wise philosopher of ancient Rome. This quote is like a Slim Jim. The longer you chew on it, the more flavor you get. In this case, the more you meditate on a saying, the deeper you understanding of it. After pondering Cicero’s statement, it became clear to me that it is important to live each day to the fullest, taking every opportunity to help one’s fellow man. I believe that a lifetime of days well spent add up to a legacy of purpose and meaning. This has become one of my principles, or morals, that I try to live by.
In the classic novel, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, the ghost of Christmas Future helps Ebenezer see how he would be viewed after his death. Because of Scrooge’s purposeless and selfish lifestyle, people treated him with no respect after his death. This frightening glimpse into the future made him realize the importance of living right. This just goes to show how the way you act as a living being can and will affect the everlasting memory of you on earth.
“It doesn’t matter – we’re all going to die anyway.” This line doesn’t reflect the idea of living your life to the fullest and doing what will bring on good memories to yourself and others. Saying this is like saying that whatever you do in life can’t influence anyone or anything because, simply, we will all be dead one day in time. I believe that you should always do what will leave you satisfied with your life, as well as a memorable remembrance of your past lifetime here on earth.
In the movie “Big Fish,” a man tells his own seemingly farfetched life story. After his death, the man is represented as a fish, being let loose into a river. Like the Slim Jim, I “chewed” on this for a while, coming to the conclusion that is was a big metaphor; the fish was his soul and stories and memories, and the river was the earth, where his stories will forever reside. Like my belief, this movie supports leaving your memories for the members of earth to hold tight past your earthly life.
Someone who left behind meaningful memories is my grandfather. I never knew my grandfather. And yet, I did. He died before I was born, but because he left such a meaningful life memory behind, I know he had a great outlook on life, quite a sense of humor, and most importantly, a loving heart. By just living his life to the fullest, a man I’ve never met has now become the man I want to meet.
“You are not the momentary whim of a careless creator experimenting in the laboratory of life…. You were made with a purpose.” Og Mandino says it so well. Just like Scrooge, Big Fish, and my grandfather, you should always live with meaning and the intention of leaving your memories behind. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.