“Everything we love is about to die, and that is why everything must be summed up, with all the high emotion of farewell, in something so beautiful we shall never forget it.”

Pablo Picasso

Imagine for a moment a rainbow, that enchanting band of colors gracing the sky after a rainstorm. Consider how its fleeting nature, knowing that it’s here for just a moment and then it’s gone, somehow makes it more beautiful, more meaningful. Would the rainbow still hold the same allure if it were a permanent fixture in our skies? Probably not. Its beauty and charm lie not in its permanence, but in its transience, in the rarity of its occurrence. This very thought gives us a profound lesson about our lives – the value of our mortality.

Our mortality often looms as a haunting melody in the back of our minds. Yet, in truth, it functions more like a floodlight. It intensifies the contrast on the canvas of our existence, brightening the hues and emphasizing the strokes. It casts a spotlight on the depth, detail, and splendor of our daily existence, transforming what might otherwise be a simple sketch into a masterpiece bursting with color and life. When we view our world through the lens of mortality, it takes on a grandeur and gravitas that is nothing short of astonishing.

But why is this so? Why does mortality cultivate meaning? Why does an ephemeral rainbow hold our gaze longer than the constant blue sky? It’s all about scarcity. Just as the scarcity of a rainbow intensifies its beauty, our finite lifespan makes every moment, every experience, all the more valuable.

Think about it: how much more would you appreciate a sip of water if you’d been wandering in the desert for hours? How much more meaningful does the last chapter of a good book become, knowing that once you turn the last page, there’s no more left to read? This is the lens that mortality provides—it shows us the grandeur in the seemingly mundane, the extraordinary in the ordinary. It helps us create memories that not just endure, but enrich our fleeting journey—making each moment, each memory, a precious gem to be cherished and savored.

So, the next time you wake up to another day, remind yourself of this: Each day is a gift, not a given. Each moment is an opportunity, not an obligation. Each interaction is a dance, not a duty. Our mortality, rather than being a somber reality, is a shining spotlight that illuminates the beauty, the worth, the grandeur, and the importance of our daily existence.

And when we fully embrace this, we start living not just longer, but deeper and richer lives—making our journey not just enduring, but enriching.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.