Life lessons from the “Merchant of Death”

In mid – 1800 a famous scientist and a philanthropist had amassed a massive empire with the help of his inventions and patents. He was considered a notable personality all over the world. He had pioneered some of the very desired inventions to serve some purpose to the world. In his way, he was helping mankind progress their way forward with the help of his masterings.

Someday during 1888 he was reading his local morning newspaper and to his astonishment, he found his name in the obituary column. The Obituary section of a newspaper contains the names of those who died during that specific period. He could not believe his eyes, the newspaper team had reported his name by mistake.

In reality, his brother had died a day before. What he read in the newspaper about himself made him sick to his stomach. The newspaper had named him the “Merchant of Death.” They gave him such a grim title as because of his inventions it was now viable to kill more people speedily. The paper company besmirched many of his inventions. His pioneering of dynamite was vilified. There was not a single positive or appreciating word written about him in the daily paper.

He realized two important things that day. First, this is how society was going to remember him after he leaves this world. Second, this was not the way he wanted society to remember him. In his mind, he was making an impression, a fully contrasting one. But he was an inventor and he was not going to give up very soon, very easily.

After this day of realization, he started his work towards the creation of peace in the world. He established a trust for young inventors which would assist them in their developments. He left most of his wealth in his trust and charity. His trust started giving awards of excellence to people after his name in five major fields of the world. These fields of study included chemistry, physics, medicine, literature, and peace. 

The inventor’s name was Alfred Nobel and that’s when the Nobel prize came into existence. These awards are given to those individuals who make remarkable contributions to their field of study. 

Today, everyone knows about the Nobel prize and almost all of us aspire to win a Nobel prize someday. But contradictory, very few people know about its establisher Alfred Nobel. A very handful of people know how Nobel accumulated his much-awaited empire and his affluent state. It was through the invention of dynamite that Nobel had achieved such great milestones in his lifetime.

Nobody knew that a simple accident that happened by the newspaper company changed Nobel’s life forever. He had the pleasure, the chance that not all receive of reading his obituary while he was alive. Incidents like these can change an individual’s life in ways beyond his/her imagination.

Life lesson 1: Absorbing Death

Imagine reading your obituary in the newspaper tomorrow morning and think of what will be published about you. Will it be positive or negative, good or bad, right or wrong, bright or dark? Think about how your obituary column will look like as it can motivate you to reevaluate and reflect upon the life you are living right now. Imagining your obituary can automatically provide your life with some kind of meaning or purpose. It’ll help you set out a definite path for upcoming events in your life.


Envisioning what your aftermath of death sounds like will clear all the fog you have gathered in your head about various concepts of life. Your temporariness is a sort of guidance to you without the need of any mentor as specific. Try this exercise when you’re all alone and have the will and courage to do it. It’ll aid you.

Life lesson 2: After Death

The good we do in this world will certainly exceed our lifespan. Nobel is known for his inventions but more importantly, he is known for the organization he established. His award gives motivation to a large number of people to invent and excel at various other things. Our good deeds are the most important things we ever leave behind. The reality of death can be our biggest inspiration booster if we let it be.


More emphasis should be given to doing good without expecting something in return. Nobel didn’t expect something in return but instead, he worked for peace in the world. He did his good deeds so future generations will have something to live up to. Another important task is to do good willingly, without someone commanding you to do so. If you do so willingly, selflessly, I’m sure you’ll feel good about yourself more than you did before. Be kind, be good for no reason.

Life lesson 3:

Once you absorb death in all its darkness you’ll understand life in a split second. Most of us think of death as an obstacle, as a problem, we’ll have to face someday. But after you accept that everything you do in your life is provisional and non-permanent, your perspective of death will change and instead of claiming it as an obstacle, you’ll accept it as a fact.

Dedicate your life to something that provides you with meaning, that you love to do from the bottom of your heart, then death will no longer be a problem when it comes upon you. Help the world with your creations. However small they are, but if they are making the world a better place to live then, why not?


“Life is similar to a book. The first page is birth and the last page is death. The empty center part is life. It’s up to you how interesting you want your book to be so that the reader won’t get bored after reading it.”

I’m currently trying to fill my book with all kinds of interesting stuff. Tell me in the comments if you are doing so too and how?

Spreading motivational vibes 😉

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