Is it okay to die and not have anyone remember you after you die?
What are we really afraid of?
I think a lot of us don’t fear dying itself; we fear being forgotten after we die.
To be frank, I don’t think anyone thinks this far ahead.
A brief summary of my thoughts on the topic:
- No matter how famous you are while you’re alive, sooner or later you’re going to be forgotten. For example when I was in college, Steve Jobs was seen as the genius-God of Apple. Nowadays most teenagers/college kids have no idea who he is. Nobody is going to be known forever (even eventually the epic poet Homer and Shakespeare will eventually be forgotten).
- We believe that we can achieve immortality by having others remember us forever. But this makes no physical sense. But a good movie that covers this topic is the Pixar film “Coco” in which dead ancestors are remembered via stories of them (by the living), and by having their memories preserved, they are able to celebrate the Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos) with the living.
- You cannot control whether future generations will remember you or not. Even a mega superstar like Michael Jackson, I highly doubt he will be remembered by the toddlers of today’s generation.
What can we control?
We can control the effort we put in our lives while we are still alive. We can control our time, our attention, and our focus.
We can control what we say, what we do, and what we create.
We can control our own self-estimate of ourselves but we cannot control our reputation (how others perceive/judge us).
We can control ourselves, our body, and our mind, but we cannot control others (unless we own slaves; even then, we cannot control the mind of someone else 100%).
You cannot also control when you’re going to die (to a certain degree). You cannot control whether a drunk truck driver will run a red light and kill you in your car (happened to my friend Simon when he was only 18). You cannot control whether you develop a rare pancreatic cancer (happened to Steve Jobs).
This means this:
Don’t waste a single hour or a single day of your life.
Work hard to empower yourself, in order to empower others while you’re still alive. Seek to empower other people in today’s society who are still alive and living. Also, put forth your greatest effort to preserving and documenting your information, so hopefully future generations can access it.
But at the same time, you cannot force future generations (or present generations) of people to appreciate the work you do.
For example, Nietzsche wasn’t very appreciated while he was alive, nor did he ever achieve much fame or admiration. But future generations (myself included) have gained a lot from his empowering texts.
Also realize: When you’re dead, you’re not going to care whether you’re remembered or not!
Live your life to the fullest!
Don’t be anxious at all. Just make your whole life an act of art! Live your personal life to the fullest and seek to share that joy with others!
Live boldly, and don’t forget to have fun ;]