Memento mori

How amazing that you, yes you, are in the exact geographic center of the universe.

At least that’s what your brain sort of tells you. All of reality exists for you, spins in orbit around you.

That is what we all feel to some extent. Our perception of reality is self-centered, centered on the world as we experience it.

All humans have experienced life this way. We each are living in a bubble of our own creation and filtering life through this perspective of a me-centered universe. It’s easy to ignore that every human around you is experiencing reality separately, oblivious, somehow, to the fact that you are the actual center of the universe.

It’s worth attempting to regularly shift that perspective and see yourself as the short-lived speck of a being you are. Here for a moment, fleeting. Not here as the reason for all that is. But a part, an astoundingly conscious part, of all that is.

It was Romans who reminded the high and the mighty, “Memento mori.” Remember you are mortal.

Your death may not be the thought you are eager to reflect on regularly. Most of us can relate to this sentiment instead:

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don’t want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment. ― Woody Allen

But we’re all goners, it’s just a matter of when and how. And reflecting on the brevity of your own life can unburden you from feeling the weight of the me-centric world you create for yourself. It can embolden you to make something of that ripple in the pond that is your existence, your time under the sun.

A hundred years from now, you may have left a legacy worth talking about still, but you won’t be around for the conversation. The universe will go on, spinning into infinity without you. What you’ve got right now, the experience of being alive in the universe, is precious and finite. Live now, and live well, while you can.

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