TED Conversations

  • Mika A
  • London
  • United Kingdom

This conversation is closed.

Why do we revere people dead when we didn't care about them alive?

What is it about death that makes us change our perceptions of a person or at least act like those perceptions have changed.
I mean why is it that when people we hardly paid attention to die, we all of a sudden begin to act like they were so important and the world would be lost without them.

Is it because we feel bad for not appreciating them in their lifetime? Is it because there was nothing substantial to appreciate in their lifetime but we don’t want them to seem like non- achievers on their death? Is it because we hope people would do the same for us when we die? Is it that the “shock and sadness” only allows us remember the good things they did?

For example during MJ's final years all he got were abuses from the media and general population (paedophile, irresponsible father, to name a few) but he dies and everyone suddenly realises he is the "King of POP"?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Comment deleted

    • Mika A

      • 0
      Aug 16 2011: I have come to see that that is the case. What I can't seem to get is why. Why do we wait for people to live before we appreciate them.
      • thumb
        Aug 16 2011: It is human nature to be self-involved. It is our survival instinct. It is an instinct that is becoming more ancient though so eventually we will evolve to where our instinct is to appreciate other people. So our thoughts and our dreams may be from other people's perspective.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.