Roger Ebert on What to Make of Life

What I expect to happen is that my body will fail, my mind will cease to function and that will be that. My genes will not live on, because I have had no children. I am comforted by Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clichés that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many. They will all also eventually die, but so it goes.

O’Rourke’s had a photograph of Brendan Behan on the wall, and under it this quotation, which I memorized:

I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.

That does a pretty good job of summing it up. “Kindness” covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.


He knows that his ideas will live on, if not forever, and that the most important thing to contribute to the world in life is to make others a little happier.

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 I do not fear death
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Ebert, Roger (SEP 15, 2011), I do not fear death, Salon, Retrieved on 2013-04-08
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: death wonder atheism spirituality


    09 APR 2013

     We are Here to Help One Another

    Einstein's Eloquent Description of Humanism > Emphasis > Roger Ebert on What to Make of Life
    In a secular world, we find meaning in one another.
    Folksonomies: humanism meaning
    Folksonomies: humanism meaning


    10 JUN 2016

     Optimism is Rebellious