How can contemplating death help us live more fully?

Arianna Huffington
Health Education

Socrates taught that we should “practice death” daily, to help us realize what’s really important. But our culture makes this harder than ever, intent as it is on practicing the denial of death.

The ancient Romans used to carve MM on the bases of statues and on the trunks of trees. The letters stand for Memento Mori: Remember Death. This was not intended as a sign of morbidity but as a mental tool with which to overcome the fear of the unknown, a way to come to terms with life’s only inevitability, demystifying it by keeping it close. Remembering death, reminding ourselves of its silent presence, can help us appreciate life to the fullest. 

Trusting that there is more to the world than what we can see and finding a way to connect to it can help us face our mortality with fearlessness and bring this fearlessness to our everyday life. 

On Becoming Love, Work, and Life

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On Becoming Love, Work, and Life

Observing that her own teenage daughters were beginning to experience some of the same fears that had once burdened her--how attractive am I? do people like me? do I dare speak up?--Arianna...
Thinking about death helps us to focus on the important aspects of our life such as our relationships, our achievements and the goals we have in our lives. It brings to our awareness how precious time is, and how, each day, we are closer to our death. This alone helps us refocus our time and energy on things that are important to achieve before we die.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.