Been at a Funeral Today. Turned Into a Life-Changing Event
You know how they say that mind is changed by the event. While I understand the meaning of it from the neuroscientific point of view, I’ve never realized the meaning from the point of life itself.
As it turned out, one single event, a funeral, changed the way I think and operate, once again. To be more precise, it gave me an idea. And I’m sure it will jumpstart the lives of many of you who’ll read this through. You’re about to change your life. And that change will be triggered by an unlikely action!
Funerals are perceived as uncomfortable situations, but…
How many funerals have you attended so far? Dozens, right? Only a handful was someone close to you. For the most part, it was either wife’s relative, coworker, or some acquaintance.
Now, I know that most people just want to get over it so they can get back to their routines. But have you ever put your mind into it?
Yes, we have the ceremony because we are superstitious or in some cases, extremely religious. And yes, we tend to make a reception shortly afterwards to celebrate the life and the passing of the deceased.
When you sum everything, that same life was reduced to less than 3 hours if the party didn’t go out of control, which happened more than once in my lifetime so far. I remember one in particular where the entire thing looked more like a wedding party or some drunken college total self-destruction with alcohol and music. The whole thing lasted for 2 days.
All that is left is a simple grave with the marble tombstone with the name, surname, year of birth and year of death. Only in a handful of cases, there’s an epitaph that says something like, “In loving memory,” and that’s it.
When you think about it, man had spent 40, 50, 60, 70 or if lucky 8o+ years, and all he gets is a “loving memory.” And that will only happen if his wife and kids REALLY did love him.
Where have you been? Nowhere. What were you doing? Nothing.
Wife lived in a stronghold, perfectly safe and insured. The kids went through the higher education and now are quite successful. All because one man, during the several decades, was busting his ballz to provide all of that.
When that same man reaches the end line, only 2-3 closest people will shed a tear and two days later he will be forgotten. Well, maybe if he was a great husband, who managed to balance professional and private life, and a good father who always managed to be the hand of help and someone to look up to and rely on, only then, that a man can expect that someone will think about him from to time.
All the others, who got impacted by his sole existence, will forget all about him, one way or another.
Where had you been for the last 78 years?
What were you doing all that time?
It shouldn’t be like that!
Sure, we are all aware that we’ll cease to exist sooner or later, but you have to wonder – what is the point?
If nobody will remember me, outside my closest family, then what am I doing? How am I spending my ridiculously limited time on this planet? Is it even possible that I hadn’t used at least a couple of years of that time to leave the mark? To cause the wrinkle in a fabric of time?
What are the odds that you and I even exist? How unlikely was that? Millions and millions of miles around us, there isn’t a simplest life form. But here, on this amazing blue planet, life thrives.
True, it’s a freakin’ short existence, but still…what are the odds?
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking right now. Who gives a fuck, right? Life’s short, make your piece with that. Stop crying. Be a man!
Don’t know about you, but I refuse to be just a man. I wanna be the man. Someone who will be remembered for the eons to come, all across this wonderful world.
But most importantly, I want my kids, my two sons, to feel proud every time they say my name. I want them to enjoy the fact that the man himself was their father. Because, with fame, come the perks and every father wants to ensure the long-lasting and abundant future for their kids.
It’s not about money per se. That’s the simplest part of everything. Money is all around us and it takes just a short-term mental effort to figure out how to get it – in large quantities. But all the money in the world won’t mean shit to them if they have to hide their origins.
You are asked “Who was you father, John?”
“Nobody special. Just another man.”
And all that time, our John is afraid that someone will recognize him as the child of that criminal, mass murderer, drunk, an addict, chickenshit, or a psychopath.
Can you only imagine the number of people who are not only embarrassed, but also afraid to speak their father’s names?
To be quite honest, I did a few things that I’m not proud of. Some might even be considered as the serious misconduct against another human being, to avoid saying some harder word.
Can I let it go? Sure. Everybody can. But karma is a bitch, whether you’re gonna believe in it or not. Sooner or later, all your deviant deeds will come to collect. At the end, the only soul that will visit your grave will be the one you hurt and the dog, both pissing on your grave while nobody is looking.
We live short, but we can live for millenniums if we decide!
That’s how powerful mark he left.
What we do know, at least to some level of certainty, that thousands died just because he existed!
Still, against all odds, he lives on.
How do you reason that?
It turns out that Mark Cuban was right when he said: “You have to be right only once.”
Maybe not the best connection, but when you think about it, the man who is responsible for the dreadful death of millions, managed to erase those deeds on a global scale and got remembered as the man who allowed us to lift and fly above the Earth’s atmosphere and land on the object farther in space.
Nobody cared about how the space program originally started anymore. Nobody cared that the man himself had developed a weapon to kill and not the space exploration vehicle. First, one that wasn’t so effective. Then, another one, the V-2, that was capable of hitting extremely distant targets with relative precision. After each launch, clock begun to count the seconds before someone, somewhere dies, not even being aware that Grim Reaper is coming for him.
Still, none of it stuck for long in peoples’ minds, once they saw the launch of the first space rocket. Maybe there were some whisperers, but when Neil Armstrong said those words after stepping on the Moon’s surface, the war criminal became the hero.
When you think about it, Neil’s footstep in a dusty surface of the Earth’s natural satellite, was soaked in blood of millions of innocents, just because Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun had a dream.
And now, decades later, we are still talking about him, in a positive way for the most of the time. His genius enabled Elon Musk to build a reusable rocket booster and most likely to launch the very first vessel on the surface of Mars. Wernher von Braun and millions of deceased, paved the way for the first extraterrestrial man mission.
Just because he refused to live in anonymity. He refused to die as yet another man who walked on this planet. He had a dream and the guts to pursue that dream no matter the cost. Sure, his methods cannot be justified in any way, but there are many names who managed to live their lives in a way that enabled them to live for eternity.
Right now, you can think about at least 3 of them.
Yes, all of this went through my mind while the priest was reading the lines from the Bible, speaking well about the deceased, even though 80% of people that attended the ceremony came just to make sure that the motherfucker is dead for sure this time.
I was one of them.
Will he be remembered?
I hope not. The guy should be resuscitated and hanged again. And again. And again. For all the monstrosities he committed during his lifetime. Some people just shouldn’t exist in the first place!
While I was looking at the guy’s tombstone, an idea started to form in my mind.
What would be some innovative, ultimate motivator? How to trigger those killer instincts in so many?
How about that damn epitaph? How about more than just a simple “In loving memory”?
How about “The man who made the world a better place”? Or, “He lived for the mankind. Mankind lives for him.”
How about making something out of our lives that far exceeds our assumed duties as husbands, fathers and men in general. Why not pushing the limits and make the best out of time we have on this planet?
You see, there’s a funny thing you probably never thought of. Do you know that you can calculate the exact number of turns Earth will take around the Sun and own axle before you take your last breath? The exact fucking number? Can you believe it?
And how are we spending that limited time?
This is the common scenario
But now comes the problem.
1/3 of your life is wasted under the ruling of some third party; most likely your company. You sign the contract to receive that ridiculous paycheck, which only undervalues the man’s labor and efforts. Talk about disrespect and you’re most likely talking about the monetary compensation a man receives for about 8 straight hours of hard labor.
It’s not about the labor or money as much as it is about the time we are using. You’ll spend 1/3 of your entire life, operating against your own free will. Because, the entire concept of job implies that you come to a specific place, at a specific time; to eat and have a coffee during the specific timeframe, and to leave at the exact time, day after day. All that time, you’re most like not allowed to speak your mind or conduct the way you’d want to, right?
What are the odds that you’ll achieve something extraordinary? Something that will make your children proud of their father? Something that, but also generations to come?
How would you like to be remembered? What would you like to be engraved on your tombstone?
Here’s the idea. Take some time off. I mean really off. Detach from everybody. Turn off your goddamn smartphone. Disconnect, both online and offline. And go thinking – hard thinking. Take as much time as you need. Bring the notebook (paper one, of course – no electronics) and the simple pen.
What we want you to do is to think of two things, the same way we did:
- Where do you see your decisive, positive impact on a future of our race?
- What should they engrave on your tombstone, beside the name and years?
Can you do that much for yourself? Can you take a moment and see how to upgrade our species and stay remembered for thousands of years?
You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your existence, because the reality is: you took someone’s place! There were approx. 2 million potential “options.” Yet, against all odds, it was you who got the chance to walk on this planet.
You owe it to your children and the entire human race! Be remembered for all the good deeds or at least one that was powerful enough to push our species one step up on the evolutionary ladder! Improve us all!