The inevitability of death is the one reminder we never asked for. Even reading this, I guess a lot of people will wonder why I brought it up. Well, in my mind it’s simple: we need a little wake up call. No, not the obtuse and rather morbid “hey, you’re going to die one day,” but something more future-forward like “hey, what do you want to be remembered for?”
Running away from the big bad wolf or having everything ready for when the huntsman comes won’t make you any better or worse compared to others. Rating ourselves against each other to me feels like the worst way to live a life. So how did our parents and predecessors live and improve themselves? What gave them a sense of accomplishment? For example, what drove my father? There are so many things I wish I could ask him from the other side of the continent.
His past: how many tall-tales has he told? Was he really in a successful rock & roll band as a youth, or were they just stories within his peer groups? Did his poems get published and if so, where? Was he really a journalist at one point? When he worked in an office, what was his career like?
His present: what is his day like? What’s troubling him right now? How’s the garden looking? Are there any birds or squirrels there?
His future: what should his legacy be? What does he want to be remembered for?
Not who he wants to be remembered by but what accomplishments should be known. What is he proud of and what has he achieved? Through life, what motivated him or just made him happy? If anyone took his experience, carried it forward and built upon it, what would he want to see? I want to ask him so many questions but technology and health make it too difficult.
So I pass the torch and the questions to you, to not leave the important stuff until it’s late, when replies are few and far between. I also pose the questions in the hope of improving our lives and those of our descendants, whatever the future holds.
If we could become immortal through our legacy and what should that legacy be? A recipe maybe? Our compassion? Or something more sinister like greed and destruction?