Essay on We Live in Deeds Not in Years

We Live in Deeds Not in Years:

Life is a great adventure and the heroes are not those who live the longest, but those who do great deeds. Many men live to be 100 years or more. They live and die, unknown and unremembered by the world. But the famous deeds done by great men are written on the pages of history.

“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts not breaths,
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by the heart-throbs.
He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best”.
——-Phillip Jones Bailey

Some people don’t live but only exist. Merely breathing or putting on years is not life. Alexander the Great died at the early age of 36, yet he was a world conqueror and is said to have wept because there were no more worlds to conquer. Alexander lives in his deeds, while centenarians are all as dead as Queen Anne. The poet Byron died at the age of 35, Shelley was drowned when he was 30, Keats died of T.B. at the age of 25. Their lives were short, but their deeds were great. They will live as long as English poetry lives. The classic example is that of poet Chatterton who is said to be the father of the Romantic Movement. He died at the age of 18, as a mere boy. Would he have found a place in history if he had lived to be hundred? Shakespeare is called the greatest, not because he had the longest life, but because his deeds were the greatest.

Greatness does not lie in years. The oak tree lives for 300 years; there are other trees that live for 4,000 years. Yet the poets have written poems not on those long-lived trees but on the lily flowers.

“It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year
To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere.
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May
Although it falls and dies that night”.

An elephant lives for 150 years; a crocodile is said to live for 300 or 400 years. Yet one Nehru is more important for the world than all the long-lived men and animals. Mr Nehru’s words and needs become history. This globe of ours is many million years old, yet history records only a few golden ages.

When Tensing and Hillary stood on the top of Everest that was their great moment. That moment was equal to centuries.

“One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name”.

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