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Hibernate's avatar

How to define a life ?

Asked by Hibernate (9019 points ) May 22nd, 2011

Maybe what we say when we go is less important than what’s said about us.

When you die, what’s the nicest thing someone will utter about you?

What’s the worst?

Somewhere in-between is who you are.

Or maybe mere words aren’t enough to define a life.

Maybe only one’s actions can.

Discuss please and try not to flame each other.

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18 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

The number of people you made to smile.

meiosis's avatar

Hopefully, the best things said about me after I’m gone will be “He was a loving dad/partner/son”. I’ve no idea what the worst will be, but it probably won’t be inaccurate. The truth isn’t somewhere in between, it’s both of them, and all the other things people may say as well. I’m a loving, kind and selfless person, but I’m also cruel, selfish and conceited. Hopefully I’m more disposed to the former qualities than the latter, but I’m a human and driven by a multitude of needs and desires…

However, to the people who matter, I just hope they have warm fuzzy feelings about me, the way I do about my father who died 31 years ago. There aren’t any words that can possibly compete with my memories of him and the love he showered me with.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think it is one’s actions that define a life and how they have affected others.
Words don’t mean much.It’s what one does,how one treats people.
I know one person that will say that I knew how to love.:)
As for the worst that will be said about me,you’ll have to wait until I drop dead as I have alot more deeds left in me.
After all,you’re only as good as your last performance.
@mazinger Well said :)

flutherother's avatar

If you are happy with your life and how you lived it then what other people think is not so important. I wouldn’t mind what was said about me but it would be nice to be given a genuine tear.

Pandora's avatar

The nicest thing one could say was that I loved to make people laugh. The worst thing would be, I was sometimes equally passionate about things when I felt my back was against the wall.
The inner true me, craves the quiet moments most of all. Watching the sun rise and the rays shoot through the morning clouds to softly warms and caresses your skin as the trees sway in a gentle breeze.

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Cruiser's avatar

I had a party over the weekend at my nice new house and got all sorts of compliments on how well I am doing, how proud they were of me, yada, yada, yada so I suppose if I died today similar words would be said at my funeral.

I would shudder that owning a business or a nice house would be what defined my life. I don’t value my life by the toys and money I might have. I would like my life to be defined by the hearts I have touched and loved. I would want my life to be defined by the legacy of my actions and deeds throughout my life. I am glad I woke up today again so I am able to have one more chance to do more in this world and hope I have many more new days as I have a few more things to do with my life and then I know people will say he really knew how to live. Those six words are what I want to hear when I am gone! ;)

dabbler's avatar

Certainly words aren’t enough to define a life. I’ve delivered a few eulogies for immediate family members and it’s impossible to accomplish anything but an intro to your dearly departed’s life.
What people would say about me depends very much on who is saying…
Some would say I could fix anything, or that I had a way with words, or that I was kind and funny, or helpful.
Some would say I betrayed them and others would say they could always count on me.

Kool_Gal's avatar

Life is suffering (there are always unlimited problems each day!). I’ll tell you when my sufferings end.

wundayatta's avatar

I would like them to say that I helped people. Unfortunately, none of the people I helped will be there.

The worst they might say is I was a lying cheater. But usually they don’t speak ill of the dead.

Whatever. I’m glad I won’t be therel

starsofeight's avatar

A life is defined much as a muscle is defined. A muscle with definition is instantly recognizable, and much more likely to be remembered and spoken about than a floppy flap of fat and skin.

Like a muscle, a life with definition is one that has been exercised, practiced, maintained, bent to a cause, and made to reach beyond the pain.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Every person defines it differently. One doesn’t even have to define their life, it’s just made up stuff to make you feel better.

AshLeigh's avatar

I think life is whatever each of us make it, every day.
But some people think it’s 42.[=

linguaphile's avatar

I really don’t think we can truly and honestly define a life… the movie Gran Torino comes to mind to support my point. We don’t know what’s inside others, we don’t know what assumptions were made about them, what barriers they truly experienced, or why their contributions were buried with them—
I know and agree that many people can be defined by their loved ones and what people said about them, but I am thinking about the amazing and wonderful ones who, for reasons we wouldn’t know, didn’t have anyone to speak for them and share their value with others. For example, one of my favorite authors, Zora Neale Hurston, died alone, penniless and was tossed into an unmarked pauper’s grave. If Alice Walker had not happened to find Zora’s writing in 1973 and catapult her to post-humous fame, who would have been there to speak for Zora, and in essence, define her life?
Just wondering how many people die without someone to positively ‘interpret’ their life for others?

incendiary_dan's avatar

My life is defined by how my actions help my landbase. If the land I live on is better for me having lived on it, I’ll be happy.

Add to that building strong communities of self-sufficient and egalitarian humans, and we’ve got a whole package.

Hibernate's avatar

Thanks for replies.

hermit's avatar

I think I want to be remembered as someone who was very brave. As I think I’m stupidly brave. I don’t have a family, so I cannot imagine that someone will cry for losing me…:(
Over all, I think my life turned out to be much better that I would expected. It is good enough for me.

Inspired_2write's avatar

A life well lived.
A life where the person fullfilled there true purpose .
Life…a learning experience.

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