The Value of What Lasts: Finding Meaning in the Transient and Enduring

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Jan 14, 2024

4 min read


The Value of What Lasts: Finding Meaning in the Transient and Enduring

In a world where everything seems to be constantly changing and evolving, it is natural to question the value of what lasts. Does longevity equate to significance? Or can the ephemeral hold its own unique worth? These are the questions that arise when contemplating the nature of existence and the passage of time.

When discussing the quality of life in Luxembourg, a forum post on sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals commuting from France. The Kirchberg area, known for its financial district, presents a significant hurdle for those living across the border. The requirement of using only one mode of transportation to reach work adds to the complexity of the daily commute. Additionally, the poster expresses dissatisfaction with the finance industry in Luxembourg, claiming it to be subpar compared to Paris and other European capitals. Despite these drawbacks, they find solace in their professional growth through online courses and the recognition received at their workplace.

This anecdote highlights the transient nature of certain aspects of life, such as employment and geographical locations. While the challenges posed by commuting and job satisfaction may seem concrete in the moment, they are subject to change and ultimately fade away. In contrast, the enduring aspects of life hold a special allure.

The philosophical question of valuing what lasts versus embracing the ephemeral arises. On one hand, the temporary nature of things can hold immense value. The uniqueness and intensity that come from knowing something or someone will soon be gone grants a certain allure to the ephemeral. It is through this impermanence that we learn to appreciate the fleeting moments and understand the beauty of transience.

Furthermore, the benefits of change and forgetting should not be overlooked. Nietzsche argues that our attachment to what endures, fueled by our memories, can trap us in the past and prevent us from fully embracing the present. This attachment often manifests as nostalgia or resentment, hindering our ability to find happiness. By embracing the fleeting nature of life and staying open to new experiences, we free ourselves from the constraints of time and open up new creative possibilities.

However, it is crucial to recognize the value of what lasts as well. Kierkegaard explores this notion through the lens of love and commitment. In the context of romantic relationships, he argues that enduring love faces the challenge of monotony and routine, which can diminish its desirability. The effort required in sustaining love lies in continually finding and renewing its value. It is a moral duty to appreciate and give meaning to what endures, not out of obligation, but because we recognize its inherent worth.

Drawing from these insights, we can derive actionable advice for finding meaning in both the transient and enduring aspects of life:

  • 1. Embrace the temporary: Seek out experiences that are fleeting and unique. Appreciate the intensity and beauty that comes from knowing they won't last forever. This can include traveling to new places, trying new activities, or forming connections with people who may only be in your life for a short time.
  • 2. Embrace change and let go of the past: Avoid getting trapped in nostalgia or resentment. Instead, focus on living in the present and being open to new opportunities. Embrace change as a catalyst for personal growth and creativity.
  • 3. Nurture enduring relationships: Recognize the value of commitment and effort in sustaining long-term relationships. Find ways to continually renew the love and appreciation you have for those who are a constant presence in your life. This can involve investing time and energy into shared experiences, practicing empathy and understanding, and expressing gratitude.

In conclusion, the value of what lasts and the allure of the ephemeral are intertwined aspects of human existence. While the transient nature of certain elements can hold its own unique worth, it is essential to recognize and appreciate what endures. By finding a balance between embracing change and nurturing enduring relationships, we can navigate the complexities of life and find meaning in both the fleeting and everlasting moments.

Hatch New Ideas with Glasp AI 🐣

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)