I know, I know. That’s the most depressing title ever. Who wants to read a blog post about death?! Bleh. And why is it in the something old/ something NEW section! Idiot.
Just hear me out.
The ancient Romans used to write “MM” on the bases of statues and tree trunks. The initials stood for the latin phrase Memento Mori which translates, “ Remember your mortality” or “Remember you will die.” This wasn’t meant to be morbid. It was meant to bring perspective to their lives. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but, we are all going to die. Memento Mori was a mental tool to keep them in check. To remind themselves to not fear the unknown and come to terms with their own mortality.
As a whole, our culture fears death. We are told to eat healthy, take care of ourselves, maybe get a little nip and tuck here and there, all in the hopes of prolonging our lives as much as possible. But as the saying goes, “no one gets out alive.” I’d argue that many fear death because they believe that’s it. Once you’re gone, you’re gone. But I believe that there is a life more beautiful than this one waiting for me once I’m gone and buried under the strawberry plants. Gotta work to get there and God knows I’m trying.
So, what’s my argument? Let’s bring back death. I don’t mean skeleton outfits and zombies. I mean Memento Mori. Remember you are only human. Live life to the fullest. I’m not talking bungee jumping and cheap thrills. I mean really doing every little thing we do with conviction, purpose, and love.
In the commencement speech given at Stanford, Steve Jobs touches on this very topic. “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Smart guy.
Let’s do it. Let’s do great things. Let’s love with everything we’ve got, every moment that we’ve got. Your life is a gift from the Guy who made you. Don’t screw it up. Don’t take it for granted.
We are all going to die. Go out with a bang.
So, show me what you’ve got. How do you remind yourself to live in the present moment and be the best human being you can possibly be? Have a great saying, catch-phrase or quote? How do you Memento Mori?