No living thing on Earth lives forever. Once it is born, it is destined to perish by illness, sickness, disease, accidental death, or old age. A living thing has a chance to continue its bloodline through mating and reproduction. As a result, some living things can establish a family tree that propagates many generations and sometimes, into eternality. Through our 7000 years of civilization, we have witnessed all these happenings in Nature and experienced the longevity, continuity, and immortality in our world.
Our life journey started just like the rest of the living things - looking for food, dodging predators, seeking shelter from the incremental weather, and never knowing if we could survive the day. But, we can break Nature's enslavement to take control of our existence, raise a family with someone we love, and create artwork, literature, and structure that will outlast time.
Since the dawn of our civilization, we have:
1) Secured our food sources through agriculture, animal farming, food processing, and distribution,
2) Developed weapons and traps to control and reduce the threats of the predators,
3) Built comfortable and durable dwellings to ward off the ravages of thunderstorms, earthquakes, and extreme weather,
4) Come up with medicines and hospitals to treat and cure our damaged and malfunctioned bodies,
5) Survive and learned from fighting among ourselves, battles between nations, and the two world wars.
As a result, our population has climbed from a humble few days to 7 billion strong. Our life span has increased from an uncertain day to around 80 years so far. With proper nutrition, exercise, and a less stressful lifestyle, we can push that time to 100 years and beyond. But, there is a limit to how long we can live as it is written in our DNAs - the longer we live, the slower our body regenerates and the faster our body degenerates.
The main reason that our 7000 years of civilization can last and survive to this day is that we make sure that we have continuity in:
1) Family values and identities,
2) Regional cultures and traditions,
3) What we have learned and experienced in the world we live in.
The automobile/airplane/ship, skyscraper/suspension bridge/interstate freeway, PC/internet/iPhone, satellite/space shuttle/Mars probe, X-ray/CT scan/MRI, and antibiotics/pain killer/vaccine, can all be traced to the beginning of our civilization when we had none of those things. Anything that we cannot accomplish in our lifetime, we make sure, through books/schools/families, that the future generations can continue and carry on the efforts.
Our 7000 years of civilization were filled with the memories and records of individuals who made life-changing contributions and discoveries:
1) Edison brought electric light to the world,
2) Ford brought the affordable and reliable automobile to the general public,
3) Beethoven enlightened people's spirits with the classical music,
4) Newton discovered the physical laws that govern how things shall move,
5) Darwin showed that all living things are the result of evolution rather than creation,
6) Confucius taught how people shall behave according to a set of moral standards and codes of conduct in a humorous, peaceful, and productive society.
Because of their works, they had achieved immortality as they will be remembered and known as long as our civilization lasts.
One Way Process
Life on Earth is a one-way street with a beginning and an end. As soon as a living thing is born, it starts to grow stronger and get older till it meets its inevitable fate. We are the only living thing that can understand this process and try to prolong it while making the limited time we have more and more enjoyable continuing to the future generations.
As each living thing performs the pre-determined functions faithfully to keep the life-cycle in continuity, we estimated that it all started around a billion years ago on Earth. Since then, the process had brought forth bacteria, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Nature has had all the times on its hand to make sure that life developed the way it intended and we are its final achievement.