I couldn't remember whether you'd said you were religious, so I hadn't assumed it, I think. [Added later: Or maybe I did make that assumption. Not sure now. Well, apologies if I did.]
I hadn't got everything you meant from your post, but I'll blame my reading rather than your writing.
Do you think that when Jesus was talking about eternal life he meant being remembered rather than a heavenly reward? I doubt that the early Christians read it that way, but this thread is about seeing things in different ways.
The lesson being taught would be better with your 'being remembered' interpretation, but I still have a nagging doubt about it. If we want a moral tale of willingness to sacrifice and help others, wouldn't it be better to help with no expectation of reward, even being remembered for good deeds? To help and improve the welfare of others just because it's the morally right thing to do.
I don't know whether you have ever watched the tv series 'Babylon 5', but there is an episode where two of the heroes are tested to see whether they are doing the right things for the right reasons. Are they acting because it's the right thing to do, or are they acting for their own glory and ego? There is an exchange between Delenn (one of the heroes) and Sebastian (the man sent to test her):
Delenn: If I fall, another will take my place, and another, and another.
Sebastian: But your great cause!
Delenn: This is my cause--Life! One life or a billion, it's all the same!
Sebastian: Then you make the sacrifice willingly? No fame. No armies or banners or cities to celebrate your name. You will die alone and unremarked and forgotten.
The episode is teaching the same lesson, and I think it makes the point better than the parable (in my view)
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