Rustem Temriyev
English on the Go
#46 - Memento Mori - C1

#46 - Memento Mori - C1

Vertical and Horizontal Values

00:00 - Memento Mori in English

05:25 - Turkish explanation of English Podcast


Trope - something such as an idea, phrase, or image that is often used in a particular artist's work, in a particular type of art, etc.:

Inevitability - the fact of being certain to happen and unable to be avoided or prevented

Delighted - very pleased

Tough - difficult

Mutual - for each other

Profound - showing a clear and deep understanding of serious matters

Quantitative -relating to numbers or amounts

Awareness - knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing

Extent - area or length; amount

I heard about this phrase a lot. Memento mori (Latin for 'remember that you have to die') is an artistic or symbolic trope acting as a reminder of the inevitability of death. Pretty negative thought. But recently, I've comprehended the deeper and more positive meaning of it:

To be in a moment, to value what you have.

Seems like another positive mantra. But let's see how it is applicable to real, daily life. Sure, it isn't easy to count and be aware of every minute of my life and try to be delighted. Life is tough, though. But for me, the interpretation of Memento Mori is:

"Remember that absolutely everything in this world is finite, so try to create a Vertical Value of what, and for who I have in my life. Things, People, Knowledge, Teaching."

From 2017 to 2020, I was a member of a Business Platform. 50-80 business owners were coming together in a Hotel once a week to network. So for three years, I met and added to my contact list thousand of new people. I indeed made some value as an income and network from those people, and for sure, they made an income and network from me. But how many of those people do I remember or have a connection with now? Only four...

From this experience, I understood one valuable lesson for myself:

The more people I tried to reach, the shorter the mutual value of those relationships was since I spread the value and my time Horizontally.

I had many new people on my list and surroundings but less concentration, resulting in less value to each person I was able to give or receive. The relationships with those new people were a "fast-food" relationship. They were consumed fast and finished fast.

I had a clear idea that I needed to change my Mindset from Horizontal Values to Vertical ones - the profound value of people, things, the knowledge that I already have—flourishing and advancing them.

When I started concentrating not on new people, but on the people close to me ( family, business partners, friends, and students) I began to create and receive more qualitative and quantitative value than before. I had limited concentration on the limited people.  

The same thing about clothes, gadgets, tech devices. I don't have enough time to wear or use them all. So minimalism, in this sense, is a complete solution. It gives me an awareness of caring for the things I already have and using them to their full potential and extent.

So, Memento Mori reminds me to be in-depth with what I have by preferring Quality over Quantity. Because the higher the quality of everything in my short life, the higher the happiness and pleasure I receive. And it is never about money.

What do you think about Vertical and Horizontal Values? Comment below your thoughts.

Download PDF

1 Comment
Rustem Temriyev
English on the Go
Listen and Learn English on the go