Good evening ladies and gentleman
So we have been considering the issues and ideas behind living forever and being “bigger than your inevitable end” for sometime now. I got to thinking- what is this mark? I’ve talked about this random unique characteristic for months, but what does it actually mean?
Not so long ago, I found a competition which was looking at the complex nature of the often rather drastic connotations of a “legacy.” I entered, not really expecting much. Its a shame i didn’t win, but it does mean i can share this with you, it would be wrong to waste it. I also like to think it ties in to what we have been talking about recently.
All these thoughts and ideas of how we make that mark on the world, that difference that proves we were here and that we tried to moved the world forward in someone, leaving a “legacy” of some form.
Yours, with love as always.
A Better Place
Modern society is, for all its strange characteristics, a remarkable place. The technological revolution we are all a part of striving to make the world more connected, safer, to solve problems that would have once upon a time been impossible to understand and to limit the fears and phobias that we all in our own way experience. Be it water, spiders, clowns or the fear of long words, I believe that everyone, in some point in their lives has experienced fear in some way.
This naturally fearful mentality, in my opinion, has created another, scarier, different sort of fear entirely. That fear that no technological advancement or grand idea will take you away from.
Everything ends, even life itself. This fundamental fear of death I have always assumed drives people to jump to that higher position, reach just a little further to the ledge they always thought was just out of reach, to climb that bigger mountain to get so much closer to achieving all they can in life, before we all run out of time.
To me, this fear of death is the major glitch in the programming of modern life because this ending, in 2017 anyway, is inevitable. We are all going to be pushing up roses eventually. So why should we fear it? It seems a brilliant waste of thoughts and feelings, where we could be busy hustling, dreaming…living in our own unique way.
So, if not death, where does this fear come from? The world being the commercial giant it has become, it can seem like genuine connections with people and your artistry have become second rate to a shiny watch, huge house and endless money to buy things you don’t really need. I think we feel we should be a part of this, as we are told this is what makes us “known” and then are remembered because of it. This where the ultimate fear comes from. We do not fear death, we fear being forgotten. We fear not having a legacy.
Much like the materialism of the modern world, we tend to want the best “thing,” the shiniest “style,” the model partner because that would make you look so good. It is another form of the forever strange “peacock effect.” Even after we are dead I feel like we are still trying to make a point and have such a dramatic impact on as many people as we can. Even as far back as Ancient Egypt the Pharaohs would build such grand statues as a memorial to themselves, to solidify their legacy. In a modern world full of excess, how much of legacy is this? Really being remembered….for being the biggest “peacock?”
The things you have are just things. You change cars every few years and that change in your life comes with it is supposed to give us some feeling of progress, as if you get a new car and that’s it, as that part of your life, owning that car becomes nothing more than a collection of images on Instagram. You hope this will give you feeling like you have dramatically progressed in life, but to then realize all you have done is made a slight modification and nothing has really changed.
In the pursuit of that new car, as we work so hard on cementing that legacy you imagine will be such a fundamental part of the world when you no longer are, we can so easily lose focus on right now, never really giving the present moment a second glance. It’s as if we are spending our whole lives worrying what people are thinking, in order to control what people think of us even after we pushing up daises and at that point I highly doubt we will be able to do anything to change their minds.
I wonder about legacy, this idea that “you are your legacy” and “people will remember you.” You and I are two of billions of people on this planet, why would people ever remember you? Throughout whatever sort of life span you have, whether you live to 18 or 80, you as a human being are insignificant. It’s what you do that matters, the way you think, feel, behave, love, act towards others, do good things, help others, provide joy, happiness, console those who are down and bring them back up so much higher again. People make us who we are and beyond the dreary constraints of being a human being, it’s up to us to decide who we want to be.
You are the author of your own fate and it’s up to you, not the ideology of society or a focus group to decide how you live your life and more importantly how you want to be remembered. The truth is it doesn’t matter if you’re remembered by 10 people or 10 million people, it’s what you do that matters, the impact you have on the way people live their lives. Take this example, from completely opposite ends of the spectrum.
One of my favorite songs of all time is “Life on Mars” by the late David Bowie. His commentary on this idea of necessary “escape” from modern society as it was back then is remarkable and even in 2017 can often make sense. So this song, as well as many others from many different artists, is still having an impact today, in that it brings to our attention that the ease to “escape” means, to me, there might just something wrong in the way we are going about things.
In contrast, even after 22 years of knowing the man, my father still continues adding to his legacy. In a weird sort of way, my brothers, sister and I are his legacy. I have learnt so much of life from my parents, spoken to them at length, my family bringing such joy to my life, a piercing light when at times there was nothing but darkness. To this day I am still learning from my father, a man infinitely more experienced in life than I ever will be, and one day I will take those lessons and respect he has taught me and pass them to someone who will being able to take meaning from them like I have.
Legacy can be anything, it can be to have a positive effect on our world or even wind up having more of a negative impact on the world, but our actions are never forgotten. We are not remembered for who we are, but for what we do. I choose to believe we go out to create a legacy in a good way, for a meaningful purpose. The impact seems the most important thing, the number of people who notice you will only fade as time passes. If you can have a positive impact on someone’s life, in some small way, you have achieved some form of success in life.
You made the world a better place, be it for a few people, or for millions.
In the end, I don’t think it matters either way.
Yours, with love as always.