Now, immortality is something mankind has been obsessed with since its inception. Many generals, soldiers, warriors, empires, nations, etc. have tried their hand at immortalizing themselves. Some have succeeded and some have failed; however, all have failed in their ideal of immortality known as eternal life (i.e. living forever).
Death is a natural thing, we all agree that it is real and it is certain, along with taxes, and that we can do nothing to stop it. Everything that has ever lived has died and everything that will live will die at some point. From aging creams to super-foods to strict diets to even stricter lifestyles, humans have been trying to figure out how to live longer, but this isn’t the immortality that we’re speaking of.
The immortality we speak of is that of legacy. How will we be remembered when we are gone? Will our accomplishments transcend our mortal flesh and live on for centuries after us? For Shakespeare, that answer is yes. Everyone else is still working on it.
The idea is that immortality is an issue of ego. See, our ego, if it is big enough, doesn’t want to die and will do everything in its power to keep us alive, which is why, though burdensome, is a very necessary thing. The ego doesn’t like the idea of fading into the abyss of nothingness and being less than a footnote in history.
It is our ego that inspires our hopes and dreams, that drives us into the alluring arms of fame and fortune, that takes our brain to the stars and gives us that big-headed feeling we get when we imagine ourselves on top of the world. That sense of superiority, the feeling of invincibility, that feeling of being a god, that feeling of being immortal.
Since we cannot literally live forever in flesh, we must use something created by use whether it be an ideology or the next iphone to live on as an extension of us. And even though we might not live to see our creation take over the world, our spirit will rest happily knowing we’ve made our mark and, wherever the chips fall, time will be our friend after death.
When someone wants to be immortalized, they think big, sensational, and memorable. They try to change the world for the better, sometimes worse, not for the sake of changing the world but to satisfy their insatiable ego. They never reach a point of ‘I’ve done enough’. They never reach a point of satisfaction. Why do you think billionaires like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, etc continue to work even though they never have to work again. They can sit pretty for the next two to three hundred years and not put a dent in their wealth but still they need more.
This is not to judge them or say they’re ego-maniacs that want to subjugate the human race but, come now, does someone need 90 billion dollars? A shit ton of money the majority of us couldn’t in our wildest dreams conceive of having.
See, it’s not about the money. It’s about the legacy, it’s about leaving their mark on the world, of being the creators of wealth and customer satisfaction they are and cementing their name into the Hall of Fame in their respective fields.
Now, being immortalized doesn’t have to be a grand thing. It can be niche, it can be moderate. One doesn’t have to be in the 1% to do something great, it can be an event, a deed, anything really. The thing about being immortalized is that it isn’t about the scale, it’s about who remembers after you’re gone.
For some, millions will remember. For others, only a few.
Alright, that’s my spiel. Til next week. . .