We are all given a finite amount of time on this earth, and opportunities quickly pass us by.
There are those of us who live with a concern for those around us and an awareness of the broader environment in which we work and play. On the other hand there are those who pass through life with a totally insular view, seeking out only that which will gratify their own needs and treat others and every situation as an opportunity to exploit for their own ends. They could define success simply by how many times they have won, how much they have accumulated in money and possessions, and how much better off they seem to be compared to others. So long as they are happy, nothing else seems to matter.
I find it hard to understand this latter approach to life, having experienced the richness and satisfaction of living with a concern for others.
Those who live in an insular way are not remembered by many, their deeds do not remain in the minds of those they come into contact with. Those who are remembered, those whose shadow is cast wider and lingers longer, are those who live life with a more inclusive approach and touch others emotionally.
David Eagleman in his book SUM – Forty Tales From the Afterlives speaks of one philosophy of how to view death, he says:
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.
All things will pass: wealth, beauty, possessions, career success; the thing that remains is the memory of you, as evidenced by your past actions. Will the evidence of your existence on this world cease almost immediately with your death, or will you be great and linger on the lips of many?