Memento Vivere– Latin of “remember to live”
Perhaps many people recall the Latin phrase “memento mori” or remember to die. It cannot be denied that death is the moment living species will experience eventually. The end of existence is something that should be noted; that life lived will come to an end. Mortality is the inevitable destination of humanity. Seeing the deaths of others always serves as a powerful reminder that earthly demise isn’t always far from reality. But, as much as people focus on the unavoidable certainty of death, it is often forgotten that life despite it’s limit has much more reasons to pay tribute to. The limitation of life gives a person’s earthly existence much more meaning.
The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.-Epicurus
We wake up every day and do the things that we usually do. Be it the job that has to be accomplished, or an errand that needs to be finished. We are occupied by the things we have to do. Habit has become the prison that we find ourselves into. Time created habit, and habit forced us under it. We are trapped in a dark prison unable to see the light of day. Unable to appreciate life beyond the bars of habit. Why is it that as complex and capable humans are, it’s difficult to reap the privilege of being able appreciate? Most of the time it feels like everything revolves around and around, an infinite loop of mundane existence. It’s difficult to learn how to live beyond the habit. To value the things that are more important. Like a masterpiece, it needs constant practice in order to perfect but at the same time it requires considerable effort. Effort that only few wise people are able to achieve. The art of living well requires us to break out and conquer the colossal mountain created by habit. To be able to value the hours and minutes that pass by. We cannot bring back lost time.
Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.-Epicurus
Why worry about a future, though it is certain still hasn’t come? Even if we believe in an afterlife or not, it still preoccupies us. The uncertainty of the future and the certainty of death has become a bane that blinds us. It is worthwhile to indulge on things that make us happy. To enjoy the pleasures of simple things. To focus on what makes us more alive. To better ourselves today than yesterday. Time is a power that we can harness. We may not be able to manipulate time, but we have the power to control it. It seems that we are bogged down by the things that preoccupies our mind. It’s an invisible poison that pollutes our soul. The anxiety of the unknown makes us fearful of what will happen in the future. Whether we believe that we have souls or we become part of the cosmos after our death, the fact remains the same: the life we have while it is fleeting, is something of value. I’m sure nihilism offers an opposing view, that life is just a small insignificant speck in the universe. In that regard, it should humble us. We are under the dominion of the universe and we are impotent creatures but it shouldn’t undermine us that the life we have is more than just biology, we in our own selves are capable of doing something that affects us and the people around us. Life has value, and death makes life more meaningful. Death should serve as reminder but it shouldn’t be the one leading our lives.
True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.-Seneca the Younger
In the end as inevitable death is, it lies in the realm of the future. We are powerless to do anything about it. It’s firm embrace carries us to Elysium. While remembering death cannot be ignored, remembering that we are alive is essential. No matter where we find ourselves, whether a prisoner of habit or enjoying earthly pleasures we should embrace the life we have now. To take time to reflect and think of how it all unfolded, to treasure the memories created good or bad. Life is like a personal painting, it’s not perfect but we are the artist that creates the individual strokes. The message it conveys tells the story of the experiences and memories we create. To master the art of living well doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give up the things we usually do. Nor to just live a life full of carefree pleasure, but to find balance in between. True happiness can be found by being able to embrace every moment we have right now and to always remember that it’s important to live a full life, before time runs out.