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Singer Songwriter & Vocal Coach, Lizanne Hennessey - Voice Coach

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Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?

I think the question is self-explanatory, and am curious what your own answer is on this age-old dilemma! Personal anecdotes are purely optional.

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    Jan 7 2014: My observation is that we can approach life in two different ways.
    One, by believing that everything and everybody is a potential risk for me and taking nothing for granted. Then slowly removing doubts and skepticism and trying to find lasting love. This is a safe way but it cuts down chances and opportunities too.
    The other way is to start by believing everything and everybody is a potential source of joy and enrichment. Then facing life chest on, receive blows of pain and betrayal and surviving to find lasting love. This is the risky way but opens new opportunities in meaningful ways.

    The choice is ours.

    I shall prefer to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
    • Jan 7 2014: Very good approach, and sometimes we have to interpret someone's approach as caused by their unfortuanate situation, or misjudgement of what we (didn't) cause(d).
    • Jan 10 2014: Wonderful, Pabitra.
      I consider myself very much a member of the 2nd approach group, but sadly lack the tools to face life in the head-up chest-forward manner you describe in a way that hasn't caused me more pain than I thought possible.
      I love unconditionally, would go so far as to say I have an extreme altruist mentality, but I had to lose love for me to realize that love is also too valuable to bestow on just anyone.
      And yet, I can't imagine never bestowing it again.
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        Jan 10 2014: "I had to lose love for me to realize that love is also too valuable to bestow on just anyone."
        Yes love is too valuable to bestow on just anyone. So please bestow it on everyone, unconditionally.
        Problem, Lizanne, is that we are hardwired culturally to think that romantic love is the pinnacle of our love potential and that it is this kind of love that we must bestow on one chosen person for emotional fulfillment. But it may not be true.
        There are other kinds of love and we are brimming with those. It will be a pity if you do not give it to others.
        However, you cannot deprive your own self from that love too.
        One who loves you will understand.
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    Jan 7 2014: Can I just say before I answer this THAT YOUR QUESTION IS BEAUTIFUL AND I LOVE IT.
    Okay, now.
    It is most certainly, absolutely, a 100% BETTER to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all (from my own perspective having dealt with loss before) because:
    Let's suppose you fell in love with a person, however; those feelings were unrequitted
    (a): You experience both peaks of sadness and happiness.
    (b): Your sadness and pain serve as a commemoration of your previous happiness.
    (c): It helps you grow, and surprisingly enough it makes you capable of letting go of whatever it is you've been clinging to, getting over loss, and embracing your pain. Eventually it gives you hope.

    Besides what tasteless and tedious life would it be to never have loved at all?
    • Jan 10 2014: Reem,
      Let me say first, I love your answer!!

      The phrase that keeps popping into my mind about never loving at all is "Ignorance is bliss".
      Never knowing what love is means never knowing what it's like to lose it... Pretty impossible if you're an inhabitant of planet earth though.

      As long as we're on the subject of cliches, how about this one: "You don't know what you've got till it's gone". Does anyone feel this applies to lost love?
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        Jan 10 2014: There is a beautiful quote by Khalil Gibran that goes like this:

        “Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

        I believe that this sometimes applies in lost love. Sometimes, though. And not always.
        Really it depends on the circumstances. I see this applies in cases where people take things for granted and eventually let it all slip away. And it is only when they really lose their beloved ones that they realize their true value.
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    Jan 6 2014: Life is the experience of life.
    All experiences, whether we label the 'good' or 'bad', offer fuel for a deeper richer experience of life.
    Negative experiences in particular carry within them the seed of how we can grow into more mature human beings (psychologically and spiritually) and this is often afterwards evidenced by experiencing within ourselves an increase in compassion for others (as well ourselves!), for animals, and for the natural world.
    I would say that in essence, it is definitely better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
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      Jan 6 2014: Hi Joshua,
      If all experiences offer the opportunity for a deeper, richer experience of life, and carry within them the seed to grow and learn, which I agree with, why call it a negative experience?
      • Jan 7 2014: Speaking from my own experience, Colleen and Joshua, and in an effort to learn ad grow from it, I also feel a necessity to experience the negative exactly as it is - negative. This by no means implies it can't also be constructive, however!
        I have found that by embracing the things I have always labeled 'negative' (in an effort to avoid them) has brought me closer to the essence of my being, and why I am here at all, and how I can move on.
        Avoidance was futile, I discovered. Negative is just a word to describe what I tried to shield myself from, what I feared.
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          Jan 7 2014: Lizanne,
          I guess I don't have a need to label an experience negative or positive, because I can learn and grow from ALL experiences. I agree with "embracing" the experience, ALL emotions, and opportunity to learn and grow.

          I agree Lizanne....avoidance is futile, and doesn't help with the process of learning. To feel, experience and embrace ALL feelings and emotions is important to really get to "know" our "self".

          Years ago, I realized that something could be learned from ALL experiences, so down the road....a week....a month.....a year.....many years........I perceived what the experiences offered me as an opportunity to learn.

          Sometimes, I spent time and energy with frustration and disappointment, etc. BEFORE I got to the lessons. Now, I look for the lessons as I am going through the challenge and I FEEL all the emotions, but do not hang onto them for extended periods of time.
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          Jan 7 2014: Hi Lizanne,
          Thank you for your comment.
          I think you are on the right track. (Please see also my reply to Colleen below).
          I would say we cannot process anything we are not aware of. Or perhaps I should say, the more we experience what is, as it is for us in our felt experience and perception (which can feel very negative), the more potential fuel-for-life that can be released when that bit of us is brought from the dark-and-wild side, into our consciousness.
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        Jan 7 2014: Hi Colleen,

        Good question. I would call negative experiences "negative", on a temporary basis; the same as Lizanne suggests. The reason for this is that they remain in that state in our felt experience until we process them (ie: until we feel them fully, see them non-judgementally, understand them wholly, and receive fully the gift they bring).

        The beauty of labeling them temporarily negative is also that it helps us focus on and hone in on the essential work in growing into more mature adults (more mature psychologically & spiritually). We need to undo our belief in lack, and 'experienced-as-negative' experiences point us directly towards and bring our attention to what we need to look at next.

        I can also suggest an alternative word to 'negative': immature.
        We have experiences that are painful to us that are in essence "immature" and they want to grow up into "maturity" and make their proper contribution in our lives. And we need to help them, (some of whom are rather wild and who have very dysfunctional beliefs), to grow into maturity by welcoming them unconditionally and understanding them for the contribution they can make in our lives when they have grown into maturity.
        I ask them sometimes: "when you are fully mature, what kind of job do you want? Who do you see yourself to be when you are a more mature version of yourself? What is your 'natural habitat' in the bigger grown-up scene of things? How do you see your optimum contribution?"

        As a final thought, the last thing our 'negative' felt experiences need is to be steamer-rollered by 'positive thinking', bashed on the head by rejecting them, or ignored in an attempt to "let go" of them.
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          Jan 7 2014: Hi Joshua,
          I agree that experiences may remain in our perception in a certain way, as long as we label them in a certain way. Unfortunately, many times, when something is labeled, people do not move beyond that label. Naming something "negative", in my perception, is a judgment.

          Personally, I see no "beauty" or usefulness in labeling experiences or emotions "negative" even for a short time, because it is a judgment. Experienced and labeled as negative, experiences MAY point us directly towards...what we need to look at....."

          AND...experienced and labeled as negative, experiences may remain labeled in that way forever in our mind and heart.

          Perhaps I can accept your idea that "negative" can equate to "immature". I totally agree with welcoming experiences unconditionally and understanding them for the contribution they can make in our lives. That is exactly why I choose not to label the experience negative:>)
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          Jan 7 2014: Joshua,
          It seems that you added to your comment since I last saw it?
          "As a final thought, the last thing our 'negative' felt experiences need is to be steamer-rollered by 'positive thinking', bashed on the head by rejecting them, or ignored in an attempt to "let go" of them."

          I totally agree....it does not help to "steamer-roll", or ignore ANY feelings. I believe it is helpful to FEEL all emotions and feelings.

          There have been times in my life when I have gone to the depth of painful thoughts and feelings....laying on the floor crying thinking/feeling....why me....how am I going to live my life now....poor me....hurting SO bad...
          frustrated...disappointed...discouraged...bla....bla....bla.

          One of my good friends calls this a "pity party". We can take the time to go to the depth of all the emotions, and like I said in another comment, I see no reason to hold onto those emotions. They are still with us, and we do not need to focus on them for an extended period of time.

          I have experienced some of these painful emotions coming back at different times in my life to be reviewed and re-evaluated again and again....usually taking me to another level of understanding and acceptance every time. Each time, I FEEL it to the depth of my being, AND I do not stay with, or focus on the pain. I move through it to more understanding and acceptance.
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        Jan 8 2014: Hi Colleen,

        Thank you for your two further comments; yes I did add an extra bit at the end about 5 minutes after first posting it - so you must have just caught it in between. Very well spotted. And I agree with your comment.

        I like your idea of the "pity party"; I get the picture of a group of people having a deep shared experience of going through the emotional suffering, but somehow ending up rolling on the floor in laughter as we see the situation in a different light, and as the emotions have been witnessed rather than bottled up. (I'm not sure if that's my imagination going over-the-top).

        Words of course carry differing meanings and associations for different people. In any difficult or painful situation I try and hold the question: "What is the bigger truth in all this?". This shifts my attention away from indulging in "woe is me" for too long, and towards a lesson I need to learn. Perhaps this is a pity-party-for-one.

        As a further thought on the word 'negative', I always have an association of being a young boy with my father in the workshop, processing (old-style) photographs. We are holding up to a faint light the strip of negatives and choosing which ones are worth developing further on the expensive photo-paper. The negatives are just an imprint which offer a next-stage opportunity to consciously work with them and develop them into memorable (B&W) photographs.

        Generally I take the approach that "everything is good for something" as long as we find a way to process it and transform it into fuel for a deeper richer experience of life.(Easier said than done, hence I guess Lizanne's original motivation for starting this conversation).
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          Jan 8 2014: You've got it Joshua! A "pity party" can take place with a group of people who want to listen and share "stuff", and we can have a "pity party" all by ourselves.

          YES....however we get to the point of the emotions being felt and acknowledged in our self, and/or witnessed and shared with others is beneficial. Once this is accomplished either in our "self" or with others, it feels MUCH better in my humble experience and perception. Yes......laughter....when we are ready, and I prefer to be ready sooner, rather than later:>)

          That is an excellent question for ourselves Joshua.... "What is the bigger truth in all this?".
          Another question I ask myself is...."how important is this"? In the whole scheme of things, how important will this be in 5 or 10 years? That question, for me often short circuits the "pain", "poor me" cycle ( "shifts my attention away from indulging in the "woe is me" for too long" as you insightfully say), because I KNOW that I learn and grow, I have faced challenges, and I'll be fine. Yup....sounds like a pity party for one!

          I LOVE your idea and connection to looking at negatives to decide which ones to develop.
          I still don't like to use the word negative when talking about experiences or feelings though:>)

          I agree..."everything is good for something as long as we find a way to process it and transform it into fuel for a deeper, richer experience of life. You say....easier said than done". I actually LOVE the journey, so I perceive it to be easier than the alternative, which is holding onto thoughts, feelings, emotions which are not recognized or dealt with in our "self". I LOVE the process of discovery and the journey to "know thyself".

          Nice discussing with you Joshua....thanks for the opportunity:>)
      • Jan 10 2014: Well said to you both.
        As someone who has spent the greatest portion of her life avoiding anything remotely resembling pain, fear or anger, embracing those emotions now in the biggest, wildest 'pity party' in the world has been essential for me!! We've all been there, sounds like...
  • Jan 7 2014: There is nothing more important than to love. Loosing a love can teach us how to love next time.

    What we could also learn, or except, is that the love we lost was maybe not meant to be. There is a better one waiting.

    All in all, to not have loved at all, what kind of a person is that..??

    "Love is the life of man[kind]" ES
    • Jan 7 2014: An excellent question, Adriaan - who would we be if we were incapable of love? Not humans. Machines, perhaps. We are vulnerable, after all.
  • Jan 6 2014: To have truly loved there can be no loss for the essence of love is freedom, not possession.
  • Jan 4 2014: Love it up, for there is nothing that is ever Truly lost.

    P. S. You ARE love
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    Jan 3 2014: What's your thoughts on this?

    I know that in hindsight I'm glad for having loved and lost, it's given me so much. But it takes time to get over the loss, something that often makes it feel that it wasn't worth it when you're in the middle of grieving over the loss.
    • Jan 5 2014: You hit the nail on the head, Jimmy.
      I am indeed experiencing grief, even regret, but am able to discern a faint silver lining again after some very dark months.
      The pain is part of the process, but I have never felt more alive than now.
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    Jan 10 2014: You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else
    • Jan 10 2014: I would definitely agree, Freeman!
      That being so, how would you answer the question?
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        Jan 10 2014: If we do not experience emotions, who are we? Scientifically/philosophically speaking, we are creatures of sensory perceptions. Depending on what stance you choose in the nature vs. nurture debate, I believe we recieve all or most knowledge from the environment. Interacting with this environment of which we are born in, is the only way to experience the magnificence of humanity. With this being said, in order to understand this beauty, it is paramount to expose yourself to every spectrum of love, hate, anger, laughter, hope, joy etc. To appreciate the highs you have to go through the lows. And with love being the Mt. Everest of highs, how could you not want to participate in that?
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      Jan 10 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Freeman. We cannot give away something that we do not genuinely have in and for our "self":>)

      The challenge with this idea, is that some folks think this is selfish. Love includes respect, compassion, empathy, understanding, patience, curiosity, etc. If we do not have these qualities for ourselves, we do not know how to share them with others.
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    Jan 7 2014: i think is better to have loved than never have loved,to be in love, to be passionate about somebody might be different, though when i say to love someone with peace and understanding. it is to give the best of you , it is to expose the best of you, so i certainly agree that love is the most beautifull feeling and it is worth it
    • Jan 10 2014: Hi Tania,
      Loving someone "with peace and understanding" is really so perfectly said, I think. Understanding allows peace, and vice versa.
      Ironically, I have finally found that peace and understanding with someone I have lost... But arguably love more.
  • Jan 5 2014: You have not lived if you have not loved. U have not loved if you have not lived. Pain is a course of life and rather avoid the experience embrace it. learn from it and it will grow u.
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    Jan 4 2014: to never know the touch of another person would be a great shame.

    love as a general concept is humanity's greatest ability, but i don't think that's what this question is asking.

    romantic love has been done to death in the modern era. if it's romantic love that is being discussed then, no, it's no great loss to never know it.

    however, the nature of the human mind is such that those who have not known it will pine for it.
    • Jan 5 2014: I agree, Scott. Love is another form of empathy, as much as we hate to have our hearts broken, knowing we are not alone in having experienced it at one time or another truly
      binds us as vulnerable human beings.
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    Jan 4 2014: Lizanne, Here is the full quote from Alford Lord Tennyson: “I hold it true, whatever befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

    Isn' this what it is all about: “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.” Roy Croft

    Perhaps what is being addressed is unrequited love such as Dante and Beatrice Portinari.

    In any event only those effected can answer the question.

    I wish you well. Bob.
    • Jan 5 2014: Robert, what a wonderful quote!
      The beauty, and danger, of love is that it does just that: it allows us to expose - if we dare - the very essence of ourselves for the other to behold, and in some cases to reject... I have found out the hard way that accepting myself (with all the imperfections I couldn't allow) is the first step in finding love.
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    Jan 3 2014: Hi Lizanne!
    I do not perceive this as a dilemma. If we have loved, and a relationship did not work out, what is lost? Possibly our expectations? Personally, I would never give up the opportunity to love because of the fear of losing something. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out. I agree with Jimmy, that sometimes, when we are in the middle of grieving, we may not see all aspects of the situation, and there is ALWAYS an opportunity to learn and grow with the experience. That, for me, is always a gain, rather than a loss.
    • Jan 5 2014: Hi Colleen,
      I chose the word 'dilemma' as it aptly describes my personal situation right now, but I can imagine the pain I feel now will transform into wisdom in time. I have learned one of the most valuable lessons there are: my own expectations were indeed the cause of my own loss.
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        Jan 6 2014: Oh Dear Lizanne.....I am sorry for the dilemma and pain you are feeling, and I also have observed that you are a very wise, loving person, who has the strength to move through the challenge.
        Sending you loving, healing energy my friend.
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    Feb 1 2014: Certainly, to loved and lost is the best one.You can learn a lot of things with the help of all things.I mean you can have a great experience.Yeah, you will be in pain, you will feel bad but you will have certain decisions after your loss..because you know people very well.For instance, ı loved someone but he did not love me.I was in a terrible pain, ı was feeling hazy.But then ı started to feel good, and make my decisions clear, ı tried to be conscious.Thats all.All of us see the glass half empty, but we must try to see its full part :) :)
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    Jan 12 2014: The premise of the question is wrong. I know the question refers to a more romantic love, but I find it very seldom that anyone born has not loved. Love is not something we learn, it is something we unlearn and hide under years of having our hearts crushed by living in a broken world. It is that intense disconnectedness that cause us to harden our hearts and build ourselves prisons where we do not let anyone in. The freedom comes in knowing that love is greater than us and does not belong to us, rather we belong to it and move and live in it and through it. It is the building blocks of the universe and why life is sustained. Without it even animals would not nurture their young and protect their species. We are not just a scientific formula made up of past experiences and equations. We are wonder, art and music in motion. The question should rather be: is it better to see a world contained in love, or to keep a blind eye to it? There is much sorrow in this life, but it is the force of love which helps us persist, hope which keeps us moving forward. In it we are transformed to be better, to care more, to change ourselves and the world around us. Pain is not born of love. Jealousy and anger, often the marks of great romances such as in Wuthering Heights have more to do with obsession than love. So as far as relationships are that "love" can be destructive and damaging, but true unselfish love is definitely worth embracing and exploring. Without it there would be no life here to speak about.
  • Jan 12 2014: Yes it is better to love and lost. When two people love each other and one dies unexpectedly, the pain is beyond belief. First comes the numbness, then the pain which reverberates through your soul and everything seems to remind you of your loss. Over time, the pain becomes dull and you remember the moments, the great moments. Not the passionate moments, but the quiet moments when 2 souls became one for an instance, no words but communication at the lowest level of being. You remember and realize you were better from being together and the memory of those moments will be with you until you die.
  • Jan 7 2014: Yes, love is better,if you have any thing in your life it will solve automatically .
    • Jan 7 2014: Somah,
      Although i truly admire your positive insight, I have to wonder how love can solve anything in out lives automatically. To me, giving love costs energy an effort, (which is worth it, considering all that can possibly be lost and gained!!) so could you explain what you mean by anything in your life being solved automatically by love?
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      Jan 7 2014: Somah and Lizanne,
      My interpretation....
      Love in a broad sense, can include respect, patience, understanding, love of learning, love of life, as well as lots of other feelings/emotions. If we have those feelings in, and for ourselves, we can face most challenges. Is this what you mean Somah?

      Welcome to TED conversations Somah:>)
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    Jan 6 2014: Something to ponder....

    "It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found"
    (John Nash)
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    Jan 6 2014: Yes generally it is better to love depending on how you define the verb. Erotic-chemical-hormonal associations can lead to the acquisition of parasites or pathogens that may be difficult or impossible to eradicate. If part of a one night stand there can be plenty of other downsides besides, such as unsupported progeny. I have searched for decades for a couple who based a long lasting happy relationship on a quickie start up. Haven't found one yet, Seems to underscore the oxymoron status of the phrase "instant intimacy". Emotional-romantic level hook ups that have a longer lead in do a bit better but not that much. Conscious Philo-Agape associations that take more time and carry no selfish agenda do the best. So much so that the answer seems to be always yes because without possessiveness or the need to control your friend that come with the lower levels there is virtually no danger of loss other than death. Is that so bad since after all we all seem to die. The Dutch are well known for taking their time before commitment and seem to enjoy a lower level of divorce than the love at first sight Americans. (It took me five years to get my Dutch bride to the alter)
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    Jan 4 2014: I would say that you never know when you love someone whether you will eventually lose, I suppose love does involve some risk. Well, actually, Lizanne, in a way it doesn't involve much risk, because even if it turns out that the person doesn't return love to you, your actions still might affect them. Look at a TED conversation. You can reply to a TED conversation, and in replying that involves a little love on your part extended to the other person. The other person may never answer back, so the love isn't coming back. And yet probably they read what you said and it touched them somehow, so your love did have a good effect. Or other people read it, and it touches them. Or expressing it just helps you because it forces you to articulate your thoughts. These benefits apply to larger situations where you love and "lose" as well.

    But generally don't most of us make good decisions about who to love we usually love and win, not love and lose?

    Have you recently loved and lost?
    • Jan 5 2014: Life is indeed all about taking risks, from falling in love to participating in a TED convo. As the wise and distinguished Bilbo Baggins said, "You take a risk walking out your front door". A risk I for one am willing to take at any cost, and of late, the price I have had to pay for my risk, and loss, was almost too high to bear.
      Almost.
      As for your last question, I think I just answered it.
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        Jan 5 2014: Well, I admire you for taking risks, it's the only way to live? There's a young rock band called FIDLAR now in L.A., the acronym is "Fuck It Dog Life's A Risk."

        Sounds like something bad happened, Lizanne, I'm sorry. Maybe it's too tender to talk about?
  • Jan 4 2014: Thanks to all for all these positive and insightful comments!

    It's such a personal thing, isn't it... To me, this quote (thanks to you who found and shared the full quotation) brings up two questions: what is love, to me? And what could possibly be lost?

    Hindsight is always 20/20 vision, and knowing it is impossible to step into any relationship with the ability to retrospect certainly wouldn't hinder me in falling head over heels in love, given the chance!

    Loving is learning. I have loved and lost, but can now say I have probably gained more in the process.
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    Jan 4 2014: I think if you know the result is obvious that this relationship won't fly at last, you can choose not to be engaged in it. It's not necessary to waste your precious youth on some bad guys.
  • Jan 4 2014: Hi Lizanne,Love keeps me to understand more in my life.From my experience,I understand love is:love in my body as long as I have them,nobody,nothing else can sweep it away from you.So you have love or not,not because someone or something,but really if you have in your heart or not.
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    Jan 4 2014: If all you mean is receiving love then perhaps you can say "better to have loved and lost..." but does loss prohibit your loving ?
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    Jan 3 2014: i'm going with the latter. being loved is not more important than everything else combined. we can not be so one track minded.

    ah, ps: maybe i don't get what "then lost" means. lose love? or lose everything?
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      Jan 4 2014: This is a well know quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson, although most don't know it fully so I'm going to put it here.

      "I hold it true, whate'er befall;
      I feel it, when I sorrow most;
      'Tis better to have loved and lost
      Than never to have loved at all."

      The meaning is literal, he's saying that it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all. So yes, it's lose love, not anything else.

      I don't think that this is one minded Krisztián, it's just one part of the whole up for discussion.
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    Jan 3 2014: sometimes you could almost say we all lose, because sooner or later we all die, so all the love we gave and received vanishes with our death?
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      Jan 3 2014: Greg,
      I suggest that if one is "being" in the moment, we are experiencing love which is never lost:>)
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        Jan 4 2014: well, I didn't express myself very clearly in my initial comment. It is true that when you put some love out into the world, even after you die that love keeps affecting the world. But it is lost to you, because as a dead person you have no consciousness, or enjoyment, of the effects of that love you put out?
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          Jan 6 2014: I agree Greg, that love expressed, can continue affecting the world even after we are gone. We can experience the effects in ourselves throughout the life adventure, and for me, that is the important piece....
          I am here.....now......

          I believe love is flowing, and continues flowing when I am gone from this earth:>)
    • Jan 4 2014: Id have to agre with Colleen on this one. While its true we are all just passing through this world, I think the acts we perform on this world never vanish. They contribute to the reality of tommorow, and the next day, and the next, etc. They may fade in their distictiveness over time, our individual acts of love may be forgottrn as the the memories held of us by those that survive us fade, but the effects we had on this world continue on. This is our true legacy.
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        Jan 4 2014: "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
        • Jan 4 2014: Yes sir! And I think sharing love and accepting the love of others is a pretty worthwhile echo.
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          Jan 4 2014: yes, I expressed myself poorly initially, it's true that what we do in life echoes in eternity, but what's lost to us after we die is the consciousness of the echoes, in that sense you always lose when you love. But I wouldn't think that's a reason not to love, is it? I guess it could be?
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        Jan 4 2014: yes, I expressed myself poorly in my initial comment, what I meant is that after you die you no longer have any consciousness of the effects of the love you put out, although it still may be affecting people. But even if that's true, by loving while you're alive you can feel good while you're alive that the love you put out will go on having some effect.
        • Jan 4 2014: Well said sir, I couldn't agree more. Who can say what happens to us after we die. It feels impractical and sometimes counterproductive to speculate, all we can count on is that we can and do affect this world while we're here.
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        Jan 6 2014: Well said Jacob...what we do in this world leaves an impression...all we can count on, is that we can and do affect this world while we're here:>)

        I agree that speculating about what might happen after this life uses up energy that can be used here and now. I also do not perceive it to be very practical for some folks to try to convince me that they KNOW what is going to happen when we leave this earth...that takes up too much time and energy that could be used here and now:>)

        I had a great reminder years ago when I regained consciousness after a near fatal injury...even though the prognosis was that I was not expected to live.

        I received cards and letters which often started out with..."you probably don't remember me, but 5 years ago you said something to me that changed my life.....or.....10 years ago you did something for me that changed my life....."

        I remembered that I was not doing anything special for these people....simply being kind and respectful...often genuinely listening....stuff like that. I realized that we DO indeed have an opportunity to leave a mark in this life experience. What kind of mark, or impression do we choose to leave?