Life is impermanent. Every day over 150,000 people pass away. That’s over 6,000 people every hour, over 100 every minute, and around 2 people every single second. Since you started reading this article, approximately 20 people have died. Some passed in accidents, others from disease, while many simply reached the end of their natural lifespan.
Death comes for us all, regardless of our status, wealth, beliefs, or identity. It is the one unavoidable truth we all share.
And yet, how many of us have truly accepted our mortality? How many have visualized our own funeral – who would attend, what they might say about us, and what they’ll remember?
Facing Our Mortality Together
This terminal disease called life binds all human beings. In just 120 years, everyone alive today will be gone, replaced by new generations. And they too will fade away in time.
When we view life through this lens, our time here feels extraordinarily finite. We also recognize our shared journey.
So why do so many express cruelty or anger to others? Why do parents hit their children? Why do spouses who claim to love each other still fight? Why do siblings hold grudges over old disagreements? Why do friends gossip?
These questions reveal our failure to embrace life’s impermanence and our connections. We have not contemplated our brief time here, nor have we grasped life’s meaning.
Understanding Life’s True Meaning
What is our purpose during this brief existence? The complexities may exceed our intellectual capabilities, like explaining consciousness to a pet. Still, some universal truths can guide us.
The Four Truths
First, every action has consequences.
For instance, imagine you lost your temper with a loved one years ago. While you may have forgotten this outburst, it impacted them and still reverberates, however subtly, within their psyche.
We cannot undo the past, but we can apologize and be more conscious going forward. This truth compels us to consider how our words and actions affect others.
Everything in this world is temporary, including our bodies, minds, relationships, and possessions. Even the stars and galaxies will one day perish.
Accepting impermanence sounds sad, but it helps us cherish each moment. Don’t just treasure life’s big moments, but all of them – laughing with friends, watching a sunset alone, or lazily snuggling a pet.
Third, suffering arises from attachment.
When we cling to people or things, we make ourselves unhappy. Loss is inevitable since nothing lasts.Accepting impermanence alleviates suffering.
Fourth, death awaits us all.
Facing mortality is difficult but liberating. Death gives life meaning and makes our time precious. Without its constant reminder, life would become dull, joyless, and devoid of presence.
Understanding these truths helps us live fully. Death connects us by revealing how all 7 billion people are teammates on this shared voyage.
Choosing Compassion Over Anger
The next time you feel angry at a loved one or stranger, remember they are your teammate. This is our time, all of us, to live with compassion.
Instead of vengeance, understand those who wronged you are suffering. Their actions reflect inner pain. Forgiveness lifts a burden from your spirit.
Rather than resentment, have empathy for those you dislike. They too experience fear, sadness, and insecurity. Recognize how your shared humanity outweighs any differences.
Seizing Each Moment, Together
Life is a brief gift. Accepting death’s inevitability makes moments spectacularly vivid. Our awareness of life’s fragility should inspire us to:
- Love fiercely and deeply
- Laugh with abandon
- Forgive freely
- Spread compassion
- Be present for each moment
- Help others do the same
This is our shared time under the sun. Make it count, collectively.
Death will come but life is now. Savor it, cherish your loved ones, and be kind to all. The present is our only certainty. Live it fully without regret, anger, or pettiness.
Our mortality enables this moment’s beauty. Greet it with gratitude, presence, and love.
Share This Article With Others Struggling With Life’s Meaning
Life’s complexities can overwhelm us. By accepting impermanence and our connectedness, we find meaning. Share this article if it brought you peace or helped you appreciate life’s precious brevity. Together, we can inspire others to live fully and compassionately.