WHO HAS A LEGACY?

LEGACY?

I’m pretty sure that 10 years after I’m gone, no one will remember I was ever here in the first place … other than my son. Most of my friends and same-age family will have also gone and the world will have moved on.

wolf-window-030916_06

That’s not self-pity. It’s a fact. We are all in the same boat. Unless your are particularly important to history and the world, when you’re gone, you’re gone.

Things that might get you remembered include:

  • Written books people will read down through the generations
  • Founded a corporation
  • Invented important new technology
  • Wrote and recorded music
  • Starred on stage and screen
  • Won a Nobel prize
  • Became queen or president
  • Led an army.

If none of these apply, you’ll be forgotten soon enough. We aren’t going down in history. There is no legacy.

My lot is the same as the multi-millions of “regular” folks who have trod the earth before me. To live. To do the best I can with whatever life hands me … then move on so the younger generations can move up. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

I have no illusions people will be reading my book or my blog in the future. It wouldn’t matter to me if they did because (tada) … I won’t be here.



Categories: Daily Prompt, Humor, In Memorium, reflection

Tags: , , ,

46 replies

  1. I think the only legacy is love. If someone truly loved you, you won’t be forgotten. But, in this day and age will they remember you while they are working non stop to get ‘likes,’ ‘comments,’ and ‘shares.’ 🙂

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    • Or as Garry puts it, “You are famous until you are not.” We are remembered by our loved ones as long as they live … and then, the generations change and the world moves on. Which really doesn’t upset me. I think that’s how it’s supposed to work. We try to do the best we can with our lives — hopefully leaving a little better than we found it — and that’s as good as it gets. Many “famous” people can’t claim THAT much.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Reminds me of the tag line of Jimmy Cagney’s, “The Roaring Twenties”. Cop asks the moll to identify her slain gangster (Cagney) boyfriend. Moll says, “..he used to be a big shot”.

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  2. That is interesting. You won’t care because you won’t be there. That is very true. I am caring now that it will all be lost. That I will just be a face in a picture, maybe if anyone actually looks at the picture.

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    • People look at pictures. I can say that with reasonable certainly. Whether or not they REMEMBER the picture? That is an entirely different question. I think the answer is “sort of.” If they see it again, they may remember having seen it before, but if you asked just “Hey, do you remember that picture I posted of the …” they probably would not remember it. There are a LOT of pictures getting published. But at least we publish them so we aren’t the only ones who ever see them.

      Should I print more? It doesn’t matter because my house is full up. No room for ANYTHING, no matter how much I love it and want it. Full life, full house.

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  3. I’ll still read and view you in the afterlife if you’ll keep shooting and writing! Otherwise, we’ll both take a brief vacation. Tell Garry I liked his piece as well. There was no place for comments…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s hang out on an afterlife beach. We’ll both be young, then. And I’ll finally get a tan!

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      • Me too..I avoid the sun like the plague without benefit of sunblock. I am the whitest creature on the beach.

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        • Garry (naturally) turns really really dark really really fast. I get ever so slightly orangy-beige if I use tons of sunblock and only let the sun hit me for 15 minutes at a time. When we used to summer on the Vineyard, by the end of the season, I still looked fish-belly white and he was nearly black. No one could take a picture of us together. He thought it was hilarious.

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          • Ha!!! I am finding that with a friend who is a drummer. I cannot get a decent picture of her because the light always adjusts to all her paler musicians. So maddening.

            I have a pigment disorder where 95 % of my body has no melanin at all so I can’t tan in those parts. The very small parts of me (mainly parts of my lower arms and my knees) that still have some pigment look like an archipelago when they tan!

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  4. When you plan a garden, you don’t just drop seeds here and there, and hope they grow. When you buy plants for that piece of land, you consider what they can tolerate as to temperature, shade, sunlight. The effort to make it happen is amazing, but once it starts rolling, it pretty much grows itself without much pushing. Water, mulch, compost, weed.

    I always liked the idea of leaving my corner of the earth in better shape than it was to start with. If we had never taken on this house it would, in a few years, have finally slid into the earth it was headed for, and whoever bought–and split up this land–would have filled in the hole and started over. maybe 15 houselots.

    It would have been easy to sit on our hands and say, the way my mother did, well once Im gone it won’t matter,– because it does matter. What we do or don’t do, strive for or neglect, has echoes, long after we’re gone.

    We’ve done it by basically doing nothing, and making a virtue of it. =) The land is now in a permanent Land Trust, and when we finally leave or are dragged out it will stay in the family, at least for one more generation. It truly won’t matter–to us– what happens after we go, I do agree, but what does matter is how we prepare the soil now for the garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That, I agree with. Our land is pretty much untouched. We have thinned the forest and the trees look healthier. Otherwise, the wildflowers grow, the birds nest. There are fox, coyotes, deer, a bobcat, raccoons, skunk and a pair of eagles. We have a red-tailed hawk who likes to chow down in our driveway. We are lucky, I suppose, insofar as our land is not particularly valuable. There’s a lot of land available, pretty cheap around here. That may not always be true, but for now and the foreseeable future, I think we are safe.

      But I don’t think of that as a legacy, more as “do no harm” as a lifestyle. I have no control over what happens when I’m gone. I like to think that the land will continue. It’s not very builder-friendly, so there’s a chance it will survive the depredations of development. There’s no way to leave it as a trust … there’s so much open, unoccupied land … or previous farmland that’s gone back to woods … no one wants it.

      But I’m glad we’ve been able to keep it And it has been a pleasure living here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. brutal, honest and sadly true. My Grandfather built an empire………the family sold it on, still an empire just big business not ours. No one will ever remember him once we are gone. Same will happen for me. I live in the now and don’t really care about once I’m gone. What’s really sad is some people fear death so much, they forget to LIVE

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes exactly. I think a lot of people base many life decisions on how they think it will affect their legacy. Thinking that our legacy is going to be important is just the ego talking. The internal combustion engine is a pretty big deal but hardly anyone knows that name of the guy who invented it. Most people are mostly forgotten shortly after the funeral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t remember who invented it … I think I used to know. I could look it up, but that’s not the point.

      How many kings and queens and pharaohs and prophets were forgotten before they were cold in the ground? Ancient monarchs tried to make sure they couldn’t be forgotten by building monumental edifices in their own honor. So we remember the monument, but have forgotten the builder. There’s a lesson there.

      Like

    • If you have residuals, they’ll remember.

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  7. I’m ok with not being remembered – so long as it doesn’t happen while I’m still alive.

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  8. I often wonder in what form the internet will historically exist in the future. Not just 5-10 years into the future, but 50 years from now…. will people still be able to read my comics if they stumble across them? Even websites and pages that have been taken down can often be found stored in the Internet Archive (I can still read posts from message boards that were taken down 15 years ago)… but how much can they store and for how long? We can unearth and read texts that were written centuries ago… but will 40th Century humans be able to read this post about legacies? If only I had a time machine…

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    • I wonder about that too. Will the technology to listen to CDs or watch DVDs still exist? I bet not. I mean, who still has a floppy disc reader? There are probably millions of floppy discs out there and the data is effectively gone.

      The signals from our servers will never go away, but I’ll bet the technology to decipher it will. Probably long before the 40th century. Like in 10 years? Technology is moving fast.

      I re-blogged an article a while back which suggested all or our photographs will be gone in 20 years because we don’t print on paper. In 20 years, will anyone have a CD or DVD player? How many already don’t have them?

      Many e-books books, downloaded music and movies will also disappear. We may be the vanishing generations. leaving mostly trash — aluminum cans and plastic bottles — by which to remember us. That’s sobering, isn’t it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder about this as well
      I wrote all of my sites and passwords down so that maybe my sons will find them when I am gone and maybe they will look at them. Maybe

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  9. Generosity is not a mistake.., it’s an attribute, a quality that, sadly, many of us don’t posses…

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  10. Who knows what we will be remembered for? There are numerous people I have met and they have left lasting memories in me. Other peoples lives we have touched, maybe in ways we will never know.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, we’ll be remembered. For a little while. Until the people who knew us are gone. I always think of the line in (I think) Exodus: “Then came a generation that knew not Joseph.” It took three generations for Joseph to be forgotten. Quicker for us. But that’s okay. It really doesn’t matter, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have a wedding picture of my great-grandmother and great-grandfather hanging in the hall. They’ve been long gone but I still think of them. (That’s 3 generations) Now our grandchildren look at them and someday they will wonder about their lives. I know the stories behind the picture. (That’s 3 more generations). Not bad.
        Leslie

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        • That’s great. I have one picture of my mother’s parents and all I know is their last names. Otherwise, I know nothing about them and my mother didn’t know anything about them either.

          Liked by 1 person

          • My grandmother wrote a book about settling in the west. So many of her stories are there. But I remember hearing the older members of the family talk about the family history. There is also a bit of sleuthing to it.
            Leslie

            Like

  11. I am glad you did not include “serial killer” as a means of being remembered …

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  12. You and the old man may be right….

    Like

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