"The rich man loses his wealth when he dies, but the wise man may lose his wisdom even sooner." Was what I recently read in a book, genially named, "When all you've ever wanted isn't enough." Made me think about why I'm even reading. I read to expand my views and, somewhere deep inside, I think It makes me smarter. Why? Why do I want to become smarter? Is it to be able to look down at people not as educated as myself? I dearly hope not. However, if it is then how does that help me in any way at all? I love to discuss with people, but isn't that still possible, even if I don't use the same amount of difficult words? What really does being smart help you in any way in the long run? Does it make you healthier? No, it might help exercise the brain and come to the conclusion that it's better to live a healthy life than the opposite. Still, why do I want to live a healthy life? - to live longer and feel better you might say, but after all it all comes down to the same eternal sleep, (Life), at the end.
Does it help to become rich? Then you might've spent a big part of your life trying to get rich, and, as also said in the book, "I remember reading if a young man who left home to find fame and fortune in Hollywood. He had three dreams when he set out-to see his name in light, to own a Rolls-Royce, and to marry a beauty contest winner. By the time he was thirty, he had done all three, and he was a deeply depressed young man, unable to work creatively anymore despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that all his dreams had come true." So no. I don't think that becoming rich is any more a part of the answer. You people, sometimes myself included, that read all the magazines about celebrities and how rich and successful they are. The reason that these papers write about them is that they all have a lot of things to hide that some journalist discovered and had to put out to do his job. One example is Tiger Woods, doesn't the most of us look down on him as a cheater? I know I do, I think it's a bad thing, it is a bad thing, but what about all the other people that cheat? Why doesn't they get the same attention? Because his famous - yes - if so be the case, even if it's just a small thing like that you eat peanut butter to your yoghurt in the morning, wouldn't it be just the same if he was just a regular dude working at a office in Tennessee? It would, but the reason why so many more people hate on Woods is because he's famous. I don't know about you all, but it doesn't seem so terrible being the guy who cheated and got caught instead of being the famous guy who cheated and got caught and not has millions of people knowing about it.
I'm not saying don't aim to be sucessful, I'm saying don't aim to get famous just to get famous.
In the movie about the Ancient city of Troja a little boy says something like this to the greatest warrior of all Greece "I would want to be as great as you one day but I'm afraid." He answers with "That's why nobody will remember your name."
He's not necessarily right, the boys friends and family probably will, but is it better to be remembered for having killed a lot of people than not being remembered at all? Hitlers famous, and not for a good reason. We all yearn for something far beyond money, sex and acceptation. We yearn for meaning, but what can a life that will highly unlikely ever pass 110 years mean anyway?
I think we will always look back with regret on some parts of our life, I know I already do. So, the question might be: Does our being alive matter? If we reach the end being really successful for the right reasons and in a good way will it be enough? I know many people who I believe would say that they're not ready to die yet, I know one, the oldest person I know actually, with an amazing acceptance of it coming to an end and smiling every day in a way that makes you smile, coming with the funniest comments to many conversations and making you feel at home every time you meet.
The book also tells this story: "Two weeks ago, for the first time in my life I went to a funeral of a man my own age. I didn't know him well, but we worked together, talked to each other from time to time, had kids about the same age. He died suddenly over the weekend. A bunch of us went to the funeral, each of us thinking, it could just as easily have been me. That was two weeks ago. They have already replaced him at the office. I hear his wife moving out of state to live with her parents. Two weeks ago he was working fifty feet away from me, now it's like he never existed. It's like a rock falling into a pool of water. For a few second it makes ripples in the water, ad then the water is the same as it was before, but the rock isn't there anymore." Like the impossible question about if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?
If a person lives and dies and nobody notices, and if the world continue as it was, was that person really alive?
I think, and you're welcome to diss my opinion in this question, that even if you live your life happily as the person I talked about that made you happy just by looking at him/her, you're soon forgotten, and how could being remembered matter to you when your body is six feet deep? Really? "That's why nobody will remember your name" - Does that have any effect on the outcome of your life at all? You think this Great warrior would be more happy in hell, if that's your belief, as dirt, if that's your belief, or as a toilet-brush, if somehow that makes any sense in your belief.
After thinking and sensing that my mood became a little bit worse I started thinking about Monthy Pythons movie "Life of Brian", and the end scene where they all were nailed to crosses and happily chanting "Always look on the bright side of life!", it made my mood rise quite a bit to almost end this war inside my head with the old Yiddish saying "To a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish."
However, that saying might not be so positive, but it strengthened the saying that "Ignorance is bliss" in my head.
Some of the happiest people I know are the ones who didn't pay that much attention or couldn't pay that much attention in school. Perhaps they didn't see all the terrible things going on in this world, or maybe they just decided that it was better to erase them from their memory.
Once again I want to think of myself as a positive person, it's hard when reading these books, but these books also gives you an insight, maybe knowledge, about how the world really is shaped. (Didn't I just say that ignorance is bliss and that knowledge could be bad for you depending on what it's about?)
Anyhow, the world is an amazing place and I'm actually happy to be a part of this world, to be able to think about these things, (which I've heard is the only thing that separates us from animals - that we can ask what it's all about. I don't agree), and to once again realizing that none of this really matters. There's only one thing that matters.
Jesus, you are my everything.