Yesterday, I was offered immortality. Imagine for a second what it means to be immortal.
What would you do if you were Immortal?
Immediately, I thought of the many experiences I could find throughout the planet. I thought of the languages I could learn and the things I could accomplish with an unlimited lifespan.
But the next thought was more important. With an unlimited lifespan, what couldn’t I do in 100 or 1000 years? Rather than something exquisite, the mundane required my attention. My children and my wife needed me today in a way that they would never need me in 1000 years. At that moment, the importance of my presence here today crystallized into the clarity of the rarest of ideas. I knew who and what needed my attention today.
Then, I attempted to rationalize them away. I would live countless lifetimes, and they would only be a small portion of me, right? But the next thought was the question of who I wanted to be in 10, 20, or 100 years? It only served to further crystallize the importance of my presence in the mundane today. If I wanted to live well for the rest of my time, I needed to live well with today’s relationships.
My humanity exists not in how much I know nor how much I’ve accomplished. Humanity exists in relationships: who I know and how I live with them. Immortality is a gift that clarifies the importance of the present by thinking about who we want to be in the future.
Do you want to be all knowledgeable? An admirable goal, to be sure, but will that satisfy you in the long run? I doubt it. I know more than most people, and it rarely provides meaning to me. What satisfies me are the people I choose to live with. What isn’t a waste of time is ensuring that they live the best they can. In fatherhood, I am immortal.
What would you do today if you knew you would live forever?