In recent events, there has been a lot of talk about the ideas of forever. With concepts like sustainable energy, a new U.S presidential candidate, and extending life expectancy, the human species is now at a new crossroads we've not reached before. We're being forced to understand a new principle we've not explored previously: the idea of forever.
Yes, we've pondered about "forever" before. Young lovers have whispered the word in each other's ears as the morning sun rises on another day. In school, we're taught that the human senses, desires for companionship and belonging are forever. We are taught to be wary of the finite bounds of life, the infinite fate of death.
Yet, there is one possibility it feels as if we've yet to grasp... What if there is no such concept of forever?
Sure, the young lovers may mean what they say as they lay wrapped in each other's embrace under warm sheets when they admit they could "stay here forever." Of course mankind will always prefer living to dying, preferring to wander the Earth on a finite basis as oppose to the uncertainty of the forever that is death.
Forever, however, could actually be completely relative. Forever could mean until the day a lover dies and breaks the bounded forever of the two souls. Forever could mean a period of time in which two people are together, interwoven by the forces of time, space, and relativity. Forever could mean until the end of time. Forever could mean until tomorrow.
When promising someone, or something "forever", it's as if that phrase has always harbored so much fear behind it. We are afraid of saying "forever" not because we do not mean it, but because we are uncertain of what the actual meaning is. How can you promise something that you don't understand? How can you mean the words that you say if the definition has always been unclear?
Forever is relative, finite, and completely malleable. Forever is only certain in the memories we craft in these moments. Our lives are made of interconnected and ever altering ideals of forever, and it is up to us to build the forevers we wish to carry with us. For holding on to our own forevers is the most finite and infinite value of the human mind. It is what builds us. It is what keeps us.
It is what makes the unknown not so uncertain after all.
Poulson is a Contributing Writer to Philosophical Thoughts and Religious Thoughts.