“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
I watched Logan for the second time this weekend. The first time, as events unfolded I watched with bated breath. The movie is riveting, thought provoking, and possibly the best comic book movie to date. If you haven’t watched it, know that its tone is very different from that of traditional comic book movies.
The second time I watched more closely. I zeroed in on the minor details in the film and closely examined the intricacies of the movie, characters, and themes. I paid particular attention to the way in which Logan acted, his thought process, and why he was as he was.
The film is violent yet elegant. In its own interesting way, it did what very few films have successfully done. It painted a picture of a man many years past the precise moment he wished to die. At its base, Logan is about a person who has grown tired of living.
I once feared death.
As a child, I often fantasized about living forever. I would think about the people I would meet, the things I would see, the places I would live, and most importantly, everything that I would accomplish. As outrageous as my desire for eternal life was, I wasn’t the only one. Most of my childhood friends wanted the same.
As with most turning points in my life, something happened and my hopes for eternal life subsided. Maybe it was the stark realization that we are intended to die and this happens for good reason. You know, the “out with the old and in with the new”. Or, maybe like most others, I came to terms that no one lives forever.
Thinking about it now, if living forever means having what Logan had, I do not want it. If his life were a painting, the painting would be of a man who longs for death yet is plagued by life. As Logan so eloquently showed, this was a man who had grown tired of living in a world in which he could not escape.
As his friends died and everything around him toppled, he remained stuck. Logan’s life was the culmination of many good things. Unfortunately, by the end of his days, these good things were only a footnote in his long life.
Imagine the world in which you can predict what will happen before it happens. This isn’t because you can see the future but rather because you have seen it all before. Think about the fashion trends that have and continue to make appearances long after they are deemed unfashionable.
Now think about some of the most world-changing events. Yes, even these repeat themselves and in an eternal life, they repeat often. The world is on permanent repetition and as I have stated before, it is up to you and I to change it. As it relates to eternal life, I ask you, how many times could you watch these events continually unfold knowing the consequences that await in the aftermath?
Contrary to the saying, “everything old feels new again”, in this life, everything old will always feel old.
I have wondered, is eternal life really as bad as it seems? The answer is no. Eternal life can be a blessing…if you allow it to.
Unlike the way in which the film has its audience believe, happiness and eternal life do not repel one another; they are attracted to each other. Know that this is conditional of one thing. It is up to the person to create the attraction.
The most basic way in which this attraction is created is by allowing oneself to live vicariously through those around them. Let their happiness become your happiness.
Jessica Cerretani of Harvard Medical School states that, “… our relationships with others, rather than what we see in the mirror or find in our wallets, may be what matter most. It’s a concept that held true for our cave–dwelling ancestors, who formed elaborate social structures to increase their odds of survival. These days, our connections are more about building a family, gossiping at the water cooler, and adding to our list of Facebook friends than outsmarting saber–toothed tigers.” This way of thinking has given rise to social media and social media allows each of us to live through those around us. Before you go and check your Facebook looking for happiness, bare in mind that social media is a double-edged sword. While it can expose us to happiness:
- “Did you see the good that _________did?”
- “I want to be a part of __________ too.”
It also has the power to do the exact opposite.
- “I wish I had what ________ has.”
- “I wish I was like _________”
- “_______ has it so easy.”
More often than we’d like to admit, social media has us believe that another person’s life is better. For obvious reasons believing this would be foolish. What social must do is teach us how to embrace the happiness of those around us as our own happiness.
In a life long past its expiry date, there will be death. This is as inevitable as a rainbow after the rain. The way that death affects us is a dangerous game that we all play. Each reacts to it in their own way and it is this reaction that can alter the trajectory of our lives to unforeseen places.
The trick with death, if there is a trick, is to allow it to fuel the lives of all those affected. One of my favorite quotes, as often quoted by Robin Sharma is an Indian Proverb that says:
“When you were born, you cried, and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”
Therein lies the power of eternal life. A person “gifted” with it has the opportunity to leave behind a legacy that so few will ever leave behind. While it may help, understand that eternal life is not a requirement of legacy.
Legacy can be achieved by the things that you do, the lives you touch, and the impression you leave. If you shape your life knowing that you cannot achieve eternal life but you can leave an undying legacy you will be well on your way to an existence long-lived.
After watching Logan I can unequivocally tell you that I do not wish to live forever. I have accepted that same thing that most of us have accepted. I will die and it is what I do with my life that allows me to live eternally or not. What I do with my life…what you do with your life, does not start tomorrow. It starts today, right now, and in the present. Do not waste a single moment for that moment will never come back.
As always, I ask you the same thing that I ask myself. What will you do with your life so that you too may live eternally?
Cheers to your success,