Life is full of the elements of uncertainty and surprise. But there is one thing that is certain and comes with no surprise to all of us. We all know for sure, that sooner or later, no matter who we are, we are going to die.
We may not know, when or how, but we know we will.
And yet, we allow ourselves to forget about it. We go about our life, using our time as if we have unlimited amounts of it, as if we are going to live forever, as if it is our most disposable commodity.
Then one day, something terrible happens to us, or to someone we care deeply about and all of a sudden we start realizing that this life, as we know it, is definitely impermanent. However, after a few days of contemplation, self-reflection and possibly introspection we slowly start falling back into our deeply embedded old habits.
We forget to remember! Memento mori is a Latin expression meaning, “remember that you must die”. Legend has it that when a Roman general enjoyed a victory, during the celebratory parade, a servant would stand behind him in the chariot, repeatedly murmuring this phrase as a reminder to the general of his human nature.
During the medieval times through the Victorian era they used to use funeral art as a reminder of one’s own mortality. One such theme is the one depicted on the Last Laugh coin featuring a laughing dead man, skulls, hourglasses and reaping blades. On the reverse of the coin, the owl, ruler of the night and seer of the souls, represents wisdom, intelligence, mystery, transition, secrets and protection.
Time is our most valuable possession. Every minute counts. Live life to the fullest. Memento vivere!
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