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Striving for Permanence

A few days earlier I was chatting with a friend who asked me when I would return. I replied in good humour that I would return when I felt I was missed enough, to which he said that wouldn’t happen; what would happen though was that I would be forgotten and then remembered once in a while.

Today as I sat garnishing some dish in the kitchen my thoughts returned to that conversation. At that time I hadn’t given it much thought but now I saw the conversation in a new light. It struck me that nothing is permanent, everything is so transitory.

We as a race strive for permanence; its seen in our fixation with buildings, monuments, artifacts, recording of history, … , even the fact that we want to make it big in life, do something great only to be remembered. Yet we are here on earth only in transit maybe.

The world is like a transit lounge at an airport where while waiting for a flight you may notice people walk past, briefly remember expressions, bear in mind for a little longer that cute guy/gal, retain parts of a conversation you had with the person sitting next to you and maybe remember him/her. But all of this gets stored away to be recalled someday, when a thought is triggered but even then its just momentary. And just as everyone else is just a flash in our memory we may be the same in theirs.

No one will remember you forever or even all of their life, at some point you will be moved to the archive section of the mind. No one includes parents, siblings, children, spouse and best friends. Out of sight will soon be out of mind.

And yet we make every effort towards permanence not realizing that the future does not matter, what matters is this moment for it is all you have. Everything we do is aimed at a distant future. We take loans to build houses for a safe tomorrow, we saved all our money for a rainy tomorrow, we make huge investments for a bright tomorrow, send our kids to expensive schools for their classy tomorrow… In this race for tomorrow we seem to forget today. Tomorrow all these buildings may crumble, our libraries may rot, currencies and investments may disintegrate, we may perish but if we’ve lived each moment completely we would have lived life.

It does not matter who remembers me once am gone, it doesn’t even matter who remembers me while am here, for people come and go, that’s the way of life but what does matter is whether am satisfied with how I have lived my life. For in the end the only one who will remember me is me and that also maybe impermanent.

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