Essay on we live in deeds, not in years



Every one wants a long life.

Enlarge ray life with multitude of days;

In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays

But there is no virtue in a long life as such; no one should desire long life with an empty record. What is the use of a long life if it does not help a man to do good work?

Hence, it has been rightly said by a poet. "One crowded hour of a glorious life is worth an age without a name." It is not given to man to fix the span of his life, be it long or short; it is up to him to turn every moment of it to account.

There is a legend that the mother of Achilles (Thetis), the great hero of Homer's The Iliad once offered him (her son) a choice; whether he would prefer a long and inglorious life to a brief life of dazing glory. And without any hesitation Achilles chose the latter. He has become famous. People talk of him. The small lily flower that blooms in the lake a day attracts countless passers-by its sweet smell and loud colour. But the oak that lives for three hundred years is soon forgotten. So the poet says "In small measure we just beauties see. And in short spell life may perfect be." We are grown too lazy and too much addicted to the comforts of an easy life. We forget that this sort of life is akin to death.

Life should be full of action. "Adventures are to the adventurous", said Disraeli. There must always be the will to do; the work will come of itself.

After all, life is rightly measured by the amount of work that is done. The standard is not the number of years but the volume of good work. The mere fact of longevity is of little consequence if it is only a long story of ill-spent years. What does it matter is a man lives for hundred years or more like Methuselah, but leaves no achievement behind?

Jesus Christ died when he was hardly thirty; Swami Vivekananda died before he was forty; Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Poets like Keats and Sukanta died very young. And yet have left their impress on human history, on the shifting sands of time.

Hence, there can be no doubt that the criterion is not the number of years we live, but the achievements we gather to our credit. The achievement becomes the be-all and the end-all of life. Therefore it is seen that if we wish to accomplish some noble deeds within the brief span of our life, that is of primary importance, to give shape to an idealism. Thus the desire to initiate works of human welfare is the way along which we can find scope for endless work. And if this ideal is pursued with tireless zeal, life will be crowded with work and crowned with success and will seem longer than the years allotted.

To sum up, man must not make mere longevity his sole end in life. He must always be ready to do as much as he can within the limited lease of life that he has been granted. The performance of good work that is beneficial to humanity should be his principal aim. Failure to do this will make his life sterile and unmeaning.

We live in deeds, not years; in Thoughts, not breaths;

In feelings, not in figures on a dial

We should count time by heartthrobs. He most lives

Who thinks most, feels the noblest, and acts the best.

Life is too sweet and precious a gift, too priceless a possession to be trifled with. We must not rush into danger merely to show off our reckless coverage. But when duty calls or conscience dictates, we must not shirk it for fear of danger. The greatness of a deed depends not on the danger involved, but on its nobility.