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It has been said that the Egyptian people believe that a person dies twice. Once when you take your final breath, and then again, the last time someone says your name. They believe your spirit lives on as long as people keep remembering you. It is also said that the Egyptian people live their lives around the idea of achieving two things during the time that they are alive. This ideal was so important that achieving it determined whether or not they were allowed to enter the afterlife. They believe that when you die, you are asked two questions about your life: Did you experience joy? And did you bring joy to others?

Since I heard this, I have not been able to stop thinking about it. The fact that every life should embody joy—not just the point of creating it for yourself, but the act of making sure that you also create it for others—is just so beautiful. When I began to analyze this concept even further, I realized that what this teaches us is that if we succeed in doing both of these things (creating joy), the analogy of death in life is eliminated. If we dedicate our lives to creating joy for ourselves and others, our lives and names become a legacy that we can leave behind, in which case we will undeniably live on forever and our names will never leave people’s lips. You will live on forever in the thoughts of others. All that death then becomes is a mere interruption of life, rather than its end.

So, I ask you: Are you living your life creating joy for yourself and others? Or are you just merely existing, waiting to be forgotten?

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