“What did you do while you were in the world,” God will enquire of the soul when it returns to Him after a short span of ‘life’ in this world that had been allotted to it; and if the answer is ‘nothing’ worthwhile, well the life will then be supposed to have been wasted.
‘Existing’ is one thing and ‘living’ another. Exist’ we have to and ‘to Live’ we have the capacity to and capability to or not. A well lived and not a long-lived life is what distinguishes man form brute, and gods from human beings. Nobility of deeds and good actions and not the number of years is what counts. Life means a period well lived.
Men have come and men have gone back after spending a few years that God Almighty ordained them to live on this planet, we call earth. Whether the people have lived well or they have lived ill, every one is to die, but some people die several times before their death. They are the people who shirk their responsibility and their duty, do such deeds as brand them ‘dead’ ever, though they are still breathing.
While there are, there have been and there will be people whom even death cannot lay His icy hands upon: they are immortal; they are immortal by virtue of the noble deeds; such, are though not physically present in the world amidst us yet they live they live in the memory of their companions who are left behind to lament and to mourn them, mourn those great souls that are not dead, that car. Never die.
Great men, who have done great things, are remembered for generations if not ages; some men will not be forgotten till a single human breast heaves, till the heart beats in that chest or box encasing the hear: beats and beats. The world has seen numerous men of deeds and action. No doubt ‘great men make great mistakes’ but to err is human, to forgive divine. Mistakes, even though blunders, are forgivable but intentional wrongs cannot be pardoned.
To come back to the point, a well-lived life is a life that is lived with: a purpose behind it. Though the purpose should be noble purpose yet the criterion of nobility or ‘goodness’ is not easy to determine. Instances from the history can be quoted when the noble and the ignoble purposes have balanced each other—but only the ‘greats’, the Great ‘goods’ and the Great ‘bad’.
Had there been no bad people, there would have been no good people. Small men, be they good ones or be they bad ones do not matter.
Great war criminals, the great social criminals, the great conquerors the great murderers, the hordes of nomadic gangs, the great invaders are all famous, well known, almost immortal.
Alexander the great, Asoka the great, Akbar the great, Alfred the great, Jesus Christ, Lord Rama Prophet Mohammad, Nanak, Confucius, Tolstoy, Newton, Copernicus Ronald, Ross, and so many other ‘Greats’ in the world have bee immortal, irrespective of the fact whether the noble or the ignoble act; were that made them great.
This does not however imply that ignoble deeds are at par with noble ones. The great, bad greats are no doubt remembered but they are remembered with disdain and disgust. Whereas the good ‘greats’ are remembered for noble acts of grace, with love, adoration and esteem.
Bravery, boldness, courage both moral as well as physical, is the essential attributes of true greatness. The great men did not lose courage which they faced the odds. Undaunted they worked, suffered and succeeded and won immortality by dint of their great qualities. The motto of great men has been that ‘for the sake of truth and virtue, no cost is great enough to pay’.
Lord Buddha, Christ, C.V. Raman, Edison, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Lincoln, Nehru, Akbar Sher Shah, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Lord William Bentinck, Hitler C. F. Andrews, and so many others who belonged to a class of the people ‘whose back might some time break but not the hearts’, kept firm on their path. They possessed a heart for any fare and to crown all, they lied in the deeds and not in years.
Age is no bar to greatness. Men and women have reached the pinnacles of glory in a very short span of life, like the ‘lily of a day. There have been numerous ‘great who have disappointed the world by quitting it (the world) after making it better and sweeter and fragrant by their noble deeds.
Alexander the great died young but before he died, he had translated at least half of his dreams into reality, the dreams of conquering the world he had subdued many countries; he is remembered to this day. The great teacher Shankaracharya who revolutionized religion, died very young.
John of Are was burnt at the stake when she was hardly twenty-two, but her name is worth writing in golden letters. Keats, whose name shines on the sky of the English poetry, died very young. Cassabianea allowed himself to be blown with the ship, but he did not desert his place of duty. He was hardly young when he sacrificed himself at the altar of service, duty and obedience.