“It is more necessary to heal the soul than the body, for to die is better than to live a bad life.” – Epictetus
The belief that we would rather die than live a life that fails to meet the standards we have set for ourselves is a strong sentiment. In death we lose everything, we give up all of our aspirations, all of our relationships end, and we will never accomplish anything left unaccomplished. But still, we are going to die. It is coming for us. All of us.
Our lives might be small, we might have little influence in the world, and people might forget us quickly when we are gone. But we have these moments, this life and this is ours. It is our work, the one thing that we have the opportunity to build and shape and use to help lessen the unnecessary suffering of others.
And we could tell ourselves that we never know just who we might influence and they might go on to become great people and change the course of history and our little impact might have helped shape their path. But that doesn’t matter. In just a few billion years, this whole adventure will be over. In a few hundred years only a handful of the people alive now will be remembered. But here and now people go through lives unhappy with the lot they have been given and each of us has multiple chances daily to make an impact on another person’s life. Make it count. Because soon you will be dead.
And you have the choice right now to make being alive better than being dead.
virtus fortis vocat