Possibly one of the greatest achievements in life is to attain immortality. Generally, immortality means being able to have eternal life or sustain life for an infinite amount of time. However, for a lot of people, the word can have different meanings if it is viewed from various perspectives.
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For soldiers or heroes of war, the only way to attain immortality is through fighting in the battlefield. However, contrary to the purpose of immortality which is to sustain life, for soldiers or heroes of war, death is another way to become immortal. Basically, more than receiving honor and glory after a battle or a war, it is also important for soldiers to be remembered.
And for some, the best way to do this is to die honorably. Dying in the battlefield makes soldiers heroes almost instantaneously as they are given medals and other posthumous recognitions. Although they are no longer alive, the names and accomplishments of the soldiers who die valiantly and honorably are always glorified and in effect, this makes them immortal. In other words, soldiers who die in battle become immortal as their names are forever imprinted in history.
On the other hand, other people believe that immortality can only be attained if they remain young. In this aspect, the concept is that if one stays young, he or she will not acquire age-related diseases or sicknesses which could cause his or her death. While there are a lot of methods and ideas being used to preserve one’s youth, most of them only have temporary effects. For example, one of the most conventional methods to stay young is exercising as studies show that this promotes good circulation of the blood in the body which subsequently results in good health. Although this method does not make a person immortal, it sustains his or youth for a short period of time.
However, aside from conventional methods, some people believe that one way to attain immortality is through supernatural or magical means. One example is the legendary fountain of youth which is a spring that restores the youth of any person who drinks from it and is believed to be located in Florida. While modern day society has dismissed the existence of this fountain, certain people still believe in its youth-restoring effects and even drank the water themselves.
Moreover, according to the basic concepts of most religions, people are immortal as they possess in them souls or spirits, which never cease to exist. For example, in Buddhism, one of the strongest beliefs is that people go through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Although Buddhists believe that there is no such a thing as an eternal soul, they still believe that after biological death, a person will still continue to live and attain eternal happiness. On the other hand, in Christianity, the strongest belief regarding immortality is that everyone who dies will eventually be resurrected depending on the “Final Judgment” of God. Based on this belief, those who are born again after the “Final Judgment” will live forever or attain immortality.
However, for other people, one sure way to attain immortality is to publish a book. Whether it’s a novel, an autobiography, a reference material, the authors of these books can attain immortality as their thoughts and ideas are printed and read by people from all over the world. Even if these authors die, they will still continue to live on through their ideas and stories that have been published in their respective books.
Furthermore, for some people, attaining immortality is simply being the first in accomplishing extraordinary feats. For example, Edmund Hilary, who recently died due to a heart attack, became immortal because he was the first to successfully climb Mount Everest. In reality, Hilary was an ordinary person. However, since he was the first to conquer the world’s tallest mountain, he was able to imprint his name in history books and attain immortality.
Another venue to attain immorality is sports. In the world of basketball, Michael Jordan was able to achieve immortal status by being named “the greatest basketball player of all time” by the National Basket Association (NBA). Aside from his legendary stint in the NBA, Jordan has also become a highly successful brand name. Up to his day, kids and even professional basketball players from all over the world continue to idolize Jordan, which further solidifies his immortality.
Furthermore, in sports, height is also another way of attaining immortality. In basketball, aside from his superb talents and numerous accomplishments, Magic Johnson is also remembered as the tallest point guard to ever play the game. On the other hand, Shawn Bradley is the tallest player to every play the game. Although in terms of accomplishments, Johnson outweighs Bradley, both their names are already imprinted in history books simply because of their heights.
In this regard, fame is also another way of attaining immortality. Like in the case of Jordan, famous people such as rock stars, professional athletes, and actors, among others, are able to attain immortality by simply showcasing their skills and talents in their respective fields or specialties.
However, for some, immortality is attained by simple passing on objects, lessons, and other things to younger generations. For example, a father has already attained immortality if he is able to pass on good values to his children, who in turn, pass on the lessons they have learned to their children. Even if the father dies, he will continue to live on through the lessons that he has passed on to his children.
In short, immortality is not simply through prolonging life. It can also be achieved if one passes on memories, legacies, and lessons to future generations.