What Makes A Fulfilled Life?

In a discussion about clever quotes I read a week or so ago somebody said “If you aren’t remembered, then you never existed”. This stuck in my mind, especially as I am deciding what to do with my life at the moment.

Is the quote true? There are famous pop stars and actors, who are known by millions and there are average workers with jobs of no large impact on the world around them; remembered only by their frirends and relatives; their only proof of existence. Have both had fulfilled lives?

Is it not enough that I have enjoyed my life and haven’t imortalised myself in some shape or form? Or is it a mix of achieving both, or neither?

Please, give your vews :smiley:


You will hate me for this, but:

Whatever floats your boat.

(The issue is, after all, a fulfilled life, not a good or well-spent life.)


“If you aren’t remembered, then you never existed.”

–Aritsu (Alice), Serial Experiments Lain

This is a quote from a character in a Japanese anime. My head is starting to hurt with the profundities here.

I had to look up the quote, and then look up “serial experiments lain”, to find out what it was. So this is a cartoon character, who is imaginary, expounding on how important it is to be famous, because if you aren’t famous, then you never existed–yet this “Aritsu” is so unfamous that I have never heard of her (it?), so therefore “Aritsu” must not exist. Right? And I already knew that “Aritsu” must not exist, because “Aritsu” is a cartoon character and so by definition does not exist.

If we’re gonna debate Wisdom For The Ages From Animated Characters, I think we should throw the field open to Peanuts, Dilbert, and Bugs Bunny.

Also, I think we’ll need a ruling from the judges on whether Yoda counts.

I would say no

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of the women.

I would add to that eight hours of sleep every night.

**Barton ** You crack me up!


*To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded. *

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pretty much sums up everything nicely for me.


I second LIB’s statement, “don’t worry, be happy” pretty much sums it up.


Contribution to world peace.

With the exception of the “knows everything” DDG :smiley: , how ironic is it that the person who said the “If you aren’t remembered, then you never existed” qoute, isn’t remembered!:smiley:

Well, at least I didn’t know who he was…

heheh Meatros, yeah i got that irony also…

And Duck Duck Goose, i’m guessing you were being silly in your post but I’d like to point out that simply because the origin of the quote is not a well respected philosopher or even a human being it does not change its validity. The sentiment behind the quote is important to myself and I am sure many, many other people.

But anyway, let me rephrase the question: you are lying on your deathbed; looking over what you have done with your life. You say to yourself “these are the things I am happy I have done in my life…” How would you like to complete the sentence?

both serious and light-hearted answers welcome :smiley:


First, I’d be looking down into a Playboy’s top 100 women of all time magazine, and then I would say, “These are the things I am happy I have done in my life…”:smiley:

Well, the way I can complete the sentence right now goes a long way: “I have loved unreservedly and been so loved in return. I have been an excellent friend, and I have had excellent friends. I have reveled in the deliciousness of simply being alive. I learned to extract the joy from the tiny moments that might otherwise pass unappreciated. I took nothing for granted. I know how to laugh.”

There are things I would like to add that include secret dreams, so I won’t enumerate them publicly. But they include creative accomplishments and making a difference for people who suffer.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Dunkin Donuts coffee :smiley:

sorry :smiley:

I really wanted to see what Jersey would answer to this OP – and I was ROFL at what it turned out to be. (But I hope that before you go west we can get together someday and I can treat you to some good Columbian coffee along with fresh hot Krispy Kremes!) :slight_smile:

For me the best answer is this:

Twelve years ago I was in a childless and in-a-rut marriage, with my wife beyond menopause so there was no hope of changing that, in a dead-end job in a small town in the back end of nowhere, with no hopes of ever having any impact on anyone’s life that would matter in the long run.

Today I have three young men who look up to me as though I were their father, eight little kids (their children) who adore their Uncle Dave, and a MPSIMS thread that spelled out for me how much people here care about and respect me and what I have to say.

I think the difference is in what you give of yourself. To quote a song I love:

Its really good to see what people generally find important in life.

As long as I have had the chance to experience everything I have wanted to do and had the sense to see those chances and take them, I will be happy. And if I find dunkin’ donuts has closed down for good today I’ll have to kick myself on my deathbed. :smiley:

And Polycarp, that quote has already made me do somthing today I have been pondering over doing for a while, thanks :slight_smile:

I know that lyric, ** Polycarp, ** what is that song? Now yer makin’ me nuts…

“The Rose,” Stoic – whether the Bette Midler or the Conway Twitty version doesn’t matter; they have the same lyrics, and the same meaning behind them.

Well, talk about your typoes!!!


Memo to lurkers: It appears “Stoic” is up for grabs, if any of you think it fits your personality. :slight_smile:

Ta. I knew it was movie-related somehow…

The concept that if and how we are remembered is of importance goes back quite a bit as it was widespread in the late middle ages in Europe. It goes together with the concepts of fame and honor. That right came before oneself and that one’s legacy perdures. You can find plenty of examples of this in literature of that time. The idea that after dead one would be remembered for his deeds, whether good or bad. Honor and fame were of importance at that time. It probably goes back even more and I would not be surprised if the Romans or the Greeks had similar concept.

A Spanish poet, Jorge Manrique (1440-1479), wrote a poem on the death of his father, the Grand-Master of the Order of Santiago, Lord Rodrigo Manrique, and the theme is very much the honor, fame and reputation of his father. It is a long poem reflecting on how little meaning there is to life as it passes so fast and how it is fame and honor remain in the end.