If you stopped ten people on the street and asked them which pharaoh the Great Pyramid of Giza was intended to entomb, maybe one of them would answer correctly with “I think it was Khufu, right?” Remember Shelley’s “Ozymandias?” There is nothing you can build that will last for more than a short time, and there is no achievement you can make that won’t be forgotten in short order. Nothing is permanent except impermanence.
All in all, it’s easy to see why so many people react in one of the two most popular ways: they either manufacture significance where there is none (insert religious or ideological outlook here) or give up entirely and just pay bills and wait to die.
You don’t have to choose the red or the blue pill. There is at least one another option. Mine is something I’ll call the purple pill:
Life is an aesthetic practice rather than a material or moralistic one. You are a work of art in sidewalk chalk that will be destroyed by the next rain, a piece of graffiti soon to be white-washed, a comedy improv skit nobody will remember next week. While you last, be the most beautiful piece of art you can be.
Be amazing, be striking, be the best damn thing you can be.