The Human Illusion of Power
Often as we talk to people as to what they want to do with their lives, the answer is often: “I want to feel like I’ve done something meaningful, make an impact”, “I want to change the course of history regarding….”, “I want to be remembered”. Scientists want to win a Nobel Prize, actors want to get an Oscar, politicians want streets and monuments named after them…but why?
Turns out life is full of uncertainty, the past is already gone, the future may never come, we only have the present, and really as we realize we have the past, that moment is already gone, never to come back. The one truth about the future we are all certain of is the fact that life is finite, and we are only for a limited amount of time on Earth, regardless of our beliefs regarding what happens after death. Doing something memorable and lasting is ultimately an attempt to endure our stay in here, and this makes humans reach out and do great things. History is full of examples as to how incredible things were done in the name of glory, in the attempt of being remembered. But from all those, one that really strikes me is the fact the humans managed to break into space and conquer the moon before we reached the bottom of the sea.
The flag has for ages been a symbol of conquer, and glory, and achievement, and victory. Not surprisingly, the first act of the astronauts on the moon was fixing a flag on lunar ground. Turns out, all the flags placed on the moon are now all white due to radiation.
Landing on the moon was indeed a great achievement, not because of the glory, or the name, or because of the flag. It was a break through for science, for humans to further their understanding of creation, a unique opportunity to contemplate the beauty of the Universe and just how little our dear Earth is. The flag…that’s pride, that is the illusion of human power and human legacy. There is a reason our life in this planet is bounded and finite. I am not saying I have the answers for all the questions, but I can clearly see there is no purpose in being remembered if you don’t spend your life living as intensively as you can. I am not saying those motivations are bad, and honestly, I am glad so many people devote their lives to being remembered, because that’s a big reason why humans as a race have achieved so many things…but don’t focus your life long goals on being remembered, because just like the flags on the moon, it might just fade away.