We live in deeds, not in years
The aim of the proverb, ‘We live in deeds, not in years’, is to remind every man that human life has a great purpose, and is not to be wasted idly or vicariously. Some men live a very long life, some again die rather young. But the real worth of a man is not measured in terms of his longevity.
A man who has lived for eighty years, and has simply passed his years eating, walking, chatting and sleeping, may be dismissed as a man who has not lived a proper life at all. If one does even a single noble deed or makes a personal sacrifice to set a great example, his life’s worth is justified.
On the other hand, a man likes Swami Vivekananda, who lived only thirty-nine years, but left a tremendous mark in religious and social lives as well as in literature, is worth a hundred lives. He will remain immortal forever, as a living inspiration to all men urging them to do their best for the poor and the suffering.
Similarly, the poet, John Keats, died at the early age of twenty-five, but within a brief poetic career of five years he has created enough poetic gems to give generations of readers’ joy and hope and consolation. So, he is still alive in his deed.
In sharp contrast, people who go on gathering wealth and power, and selfishly exploit human beings, do not live at all the life of man. During their existence on earth, they are continually hated, and after their physical destruction, their memory is almost lost. However, very bad deeds and inhuman cruelties are not forgotten. These haunt us like nightmares.