When you die, the people who loved you unearth your significance. ✎ By Wayne K. Spear
There we all stood, looking at the man’s tattoo. We knew what it was, but no one could think of the word caduceus.
Everyone knows what a barber pole signifies, few know what it means.
No matter how long your life, it can be reduced to a sentence.
Joe is funny—he’s a man who will always help a friend: he has a big heart.
Significance and meaning.
The word fossil means something dug up. Many bones were dug up before their significance was known.
For centuries, astronomy was the reigning science. The word paleontology was invented in 1822, at a time when the significance of the earth sciences was finally understood.
Until the nineteenth century, we looked to the heavens for meaning. Then, geology taught us to look down.
We forget the dictionary meaning of things because that is not their significance. A barber pole signifies that “I can get a hair cut here”—a caduceus (because it is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius) that “I can get medicine and be well.”
While we live, we struggle with meaning. When we die, the people who loved us unearth our significance. They are the paleontologists of our lives. They are the experts.
Imagine what you want them to say, and live accordingly.