The Value of what lasts: Exploring the Connection between the Ephemeral and the Enduring

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Oct 20, 2023

3 min read


The Value of what lasts: Exploring the Connection between the Ephemeral and the Enduring

"Seul ce qui dure a-t-il de la valeur ?". This philosophical question has been debated for centuries, as we ponder the worth of objects, beings, and the effects of our actions. It seems that nothing can escape the passage of time. But should we only attach importance to what lasts longer? In this article, we will delve into the concept of value, exploring the unique qualities of the ephemeral and the enduring.

The ephemeral, despite its fleeting nature, can hold a specific value of its own. When something or someone is destined to disappear, its rarity and uniqueness become its defining characteristics. It is in the very fact that it is temporary that we find its worth. Think about a beautiful sunset or a delicate flower. Their beauty lies in the fact that they will not last forever. We appreciate them more because we know they are transient. It is this quest for intensity and the awareness of the finite nature of things that makes the ephemeral valuable.

However, there are also benefits to embracing change and letting go. Nietzsche argues that what endures, especially when we hold onto memories, can imprison us within the constraints of time. Our attachment to the past prevents us from fully experiencing the present, as we become trapped in nostalgic longing or resentment. Instead, by embracing the "threshold of the moment," we liberate ourselves from the shackles of what lasts and open ourselves up to new creative possibilities. In this sense, the ephemeral becomes a catalyst for growth and transformation.

To truly appreciate the value of what lasts, Kierkegaard suggests looking at the experience of love. Love, particularly in the context of a long-term relationship, is tested by the passage of time. The daily routine can erode the initial excitement and make love seem less desirable. Yet, Kierkegaard argues that the effort lies in recognizing that the love for the other person is a constant value that is continually renewed. It is a moral duty to find satisfaction in commitment, not because we have no other choice, but because we continue to give value to what endures.

In exploring these ideas, it becomes clear that both the ephemeral and the enduring hold intrinsic value. Each has its unique qualities that contribute to the human experience. So, how can we apply these insights to our own lives?

  • 1. Embrace the ephemeral: Take the time to appreciate the beauty in transient moments. Whether it's a breathtaking sunset or a fleeting encounter with a stranger, find joy in the temporary nature of these experiences. Recognize the value that lies in their fleeting presence.
  • 2. Embrace change: Instead of clinging to the past, embrace the present moment and the possibilities it holds. Let go of nostalgic attachments and open yourself up to new experiences and perspectives. Embracing change allows for personal growth and the exploration of new avenues.
  • 3. Nurture enduring relationships: In long-term relationships, it's essential to recognize the value of commitment. Cherish the love you share with your partner and understand that its worth lies in the continuous effort to renew and appreciate it. Find fulfillment in the stability and assurance that enduring relationships provide.

In conclusion, the value of what lasts is a complex concept that intertwines with the ephemeral. Both have their unique qualities and contribute to our understanding of the world. By embracing the ephemeral, embracing change, and nurturing enduring relationships, we can find meaning and fulfillment in the delicate balance between what is transient and what endures.

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