Memento Mori

remember, you will die

There’s no logic here, today.
Do as you got to, go your own way, I said, that's right.
Time’s short, your life's your own,
and in the end, we are just…

Dust n' bones

Guns n’ Roses. 1991. lyrics from Dust n’ Bones.


Memento Mori. You will die.

While morbid, this is true for all of us1. Unless we figure out a way to transfer our minds into permanent storage, one day we will simply seize to be.

Keeping this in mind can lead us down a few paths. One of them is to forego any attempt to do anything of value, and spend our days chasing pleasures. The other is to use this as a reminder that our time on earth is limited, and try to make the most of it.

The ancient Romans believed that by being aware of your mortality, you were able to experience life more fully. They advise us to know what values we deem important, and to live accordingly. Do not wait to tomorrow to do that which can be done today.
If you die tomorrow, did you leave things in a good state for those that stay around?
Did you live how you wanted to live? What will people say about who you were as a person?

While the knowledge of our own mortality can drive us to be the best version of ourselves, it can also help to not consider ourselves indispensable. While being productive is important, we should not forget to spend time with our loved ones, or take a few moments to relax and enjoy ourselves2. After all, the graveyards are filled with indispensable people.


  1. As the commentator team for the Toronto Raptors said multiple times in the 2018 NBA season: “The only certainties in life are Death, Taxes and JV threes.” ↩︎

  2. As per Oscar Wilde: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” ↩︎