Question: Why is now so short?
Question: Why is now so short?
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I was recently giving thought to the concept of choice and consequences.
Assuming we generally agreed upon cause-and-effect nature of the world anytime we make a choice there is a consequence.
That is where we fall short, we prepare for a consequence. What we get instead are MANY consequences.
This complicates things a bit. The only solution is to extend your vision a little further in time and include more variables.
The task grow exponentially out of our ability to consciously follow.
…. or does it?
I’ve been doing some simple thought experiments that might unsettle a few people. I’ll tell you why in a moment.
The thought experiment is as follows:
Set a goal to make something happen one thousand years after your death.
It can be done in theory. There are a numerous things that can retrace their origins back one thousand years: most religions, a few monuments, written texts like The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Shakespeare and other have made lasting impacts on the culture.
How many of those intended to make an impact on the world and survive history?
A few of these surviving achievements, like the pyramids, exist by the glorified ego of men. These men wanted them to last driven by their own personal needs. I conclude that if you have a big ego you’re more likely to try something like this but success is not guaranteed.
Religions have made a lasting impact. They captured the power of peoples beliefs.
Art and of literature have all made contributions. It would be hard to imagine if the authors of these works knew they would have such an impact.
A complicating factor is “The Butterfly Effect” which states small actions can have unpredictable consequences over time. The further out in time you go the more other external factors dilute your intended outcome.
So, what can you do to insure something is accomplished in 1000 years after your death?
Your first step is to expand your vision and begin to think in terms of centuries and generations.
When I look on this time scale it doesn’t take long for me to realize the seeming insignificance my life has. It’s enlightening and sobering. That’s the part that can be unsettling.
Can you embrace your insignificance on this time scale and still set yourself to the task that could easily be a forgotten fad after 20 years?
Consider how technology has advanced to give us things we couldn’t have imagined 30 years ago. You are asking yourself to consider future events you can’t conceive.
The only solution I’ve come to this is a “Ah-ha” moment, when you realize that the only thing more important than achieving that goal one thousands year after your death is that you try to achieve it no matter what.
“That I achieve my goal doesn’t matter. That I lived my life working toward it does.”
This is the act of giving meaning and significance to your life. Some people are lucky enough to know the meaning, the purpose, their life has. Maybe they were born into a family that instilled a sense of purpose and meaning to life. Or they felt “a calling” from an early age.
Most of us are not so lucky. But can choose to give our lives meaning and purpose.
One human life is short in the eyes of eternity but if will live it well amazing things can happen.
What purpose are you giving to YOUR life?
The answer to the question “Why is now so short?” is it’s short only because we have chosen to see it that way.