“Ars longa, vita brevis.” – Seneca
Our lives are short. Why waste it accumulating superfluous stuff, aiming to receive acclaim from others? I propose we should seek to make great art; art that pleases and amuses us, and art that can inspire future generations!
I’ve philosophized a lot on the purpose of life. Essentially, I don’t think there is any universal or ultimate “point” of life. We were thrust into the earth (against our own will), and the reality is that we’re alive, coherent, and we can use our hours however we desire.
Nobody can control how you use your own time. Assuming you weren’t born into indentured servitude or slavery, all the decisions you make in your life belong to you!
You have 100% control over how you utilize your hours.
Some of us trade our time and our hours for money. Some of us trade our time and hours to make art. There isn’t a right or wrong; you decide how to use your own hours!
For myself, I value my time and hours over everything else.
I can always earn another $1,000, but I can never “gain” another hour, day, or year of my life! Human life (at best) is around 120 years. But beyond that, there’s no ability for us to live to be 200 years old, 300 years old, or God forbid, 1000 years.
Let’s assume with modern technology, and assuming we don’t die in a texting-while-driving accident, we live to be 100 years old.
You cannot “gain” or “add” any years to this 100 years of your life. Knowing this, how will you employ your hours, days, weeks, months, and years?
For myself, I devote myself to art, poetry, photography, music, dance, and philosophy. I have good confidence in myself that at least 1 of my books, 1 of my articles, 1 of my essays, 1 of my photos, or 1 of my videos will outlive me.
My buddy Horace said,
“I will make a piece of art more enduring than bronze.”
And he was right. He’s long dead, but his epic poetry lives on! And continues to inspire millions around the world, including myself!
As a photographer, you’re an artist. So take your passion in photography seriously; your photography is your art. It’s your life. It’s the life force which keeps you going! So never delay your own artwork. You don’t know whether you will die tonight in your sleep from an unknown allergy to cashews or crustaceans, or if you’re going to die in a car accident today.
Our life is short, but the art we create has the potential to exist for a very long time; longer than bronze or brass.
So let us never lose strength, and devote ourselves with all of our power and soul to make great art; art which empowers us, our friends and family, and future generations!