Death has inspired humanity since time immemorial, influencing ideologies and storytelling to our understanding of life and how we live it.
To our ancient ancestors, the fear of death was a palpable and daily motivator. Although our world is infinitely safer than it was centuries ago, we are still driven by the fear of death and we expertly attribute it to even the smallest events: traffic, deadlines, a mistake, public speaking, your boss’s name on your caller ID on a Saturday.
What we have done well as a species is leverage the fear of death to inspire achievements that seemed impossible, to create work that needed to be made, and to discover insights that help us live well.
Imagine your typical morning coffee or tea, how it tastes and the way it makes you feel. Now imagine being on a remote island, sun rising, with your drink in hand. That sip is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted—that’s context.
When we feel something is out of context, it’s because there’s a mismatch in the intention, behavior, and environment. Looking at the Mona Lisa in a dark basement versus The Louvre surrounded by people taking photos creates two different memories.