Maybe now and then we give it some thought especially if some event transpire that forces to face the topic we dread most – death.
Example, in the hospital for a surgical operation. Many people always have this inherent fear that once they go under the anesthetics, they won’t wake up again and tell themselves “Walk away from the light” over and over in their minds as they slowly succumb to the anesthetics.
It is boring because the topic is off-putting, it should be for most people. The topic is related to death and a lot of people would rather not think about it instead focus n the next impending issue that is waiting in their minds – life.
For me, whatever lies after death is a topic I will only understand once I am over there. Nothing I learn now could prepare me for it so what is the point to dwell on it? Instead I have been thinking about the aftermath of death here in the world of the living once I leave this mortal coil – what is there to prove I had existed?
The old fashion thinking style – grandchildren.
For old people especially Asian ones, it is grandchildren. This is why they keep asking their children to have as many children even if they cannot afford to not only to leave behind a legacy, but to also show off to their friends and other family members how “resilient and powerful” their legacy is to the world. This is why you can see family while living below the poverty line, but can have more children because it is the only thing they can do when pressured by their parents – to have more kids than they can feed.
I do not agree with this primarily because if you cannot afford them, don’t have them (I can hear the collective screaming of all the old Asian parents by this statement, especially my parents). I will say this now, I can barely afford my own life let alone take care of another being.
Building an empire – creation of asset and fortune
Another way is to leave behind a huge business empire or huge stacks of money. I find this way even more distasteful because it means working forever or until you die. Unless you love the job, I don’t want to go this way, it is just too sad.
Working countless hour to build a business or fortunate, not loving any if the work you do. To leave behind something for your family? Kids? Again it comes to the fact I don’t plan to have a family of my own that this legacy idea sickens me.
Let’s be realistic, to be able to even create a fortune to leave behind is beyond most peoples’ means anyway (most not all) and we all know that no matter what, it will be all gone in only a few short generations. With nothing further to share.
It simply ends with your name logged in some history book.
Knowledge – the quest leaves behind many achievements
This has merits, many great scholars continue to be talked about today even though they had passed away long ago, for their work created the stepping stones other used to continue the quest and are cheered upon as they marched forward to the final destination, where ever it maybe.
Of course all great thinkers would like to reach the end of their quest but most don’t and only create the path through which knowledge is the goal. For current thinkers, the quest is that they continue to search, explore and understand and hopefully share to others who might be able to spring that great next step bringing them ever so closer to the end goal – knowledge.
I like to think whatever I spoke, written and shared will contribute to some great cosmic event, the tenants of words right now would help other understand and maybe offer them the clue they need for their quest. Hopefully when it come to an end, there will be a footnote in their story that I had contributed.
But again, I would never know.
I guess there is really no great way to leave behind proof you existed,
We are been born,
We liven a life,
Maybe not through a singular act but through a collection of small acts. Each one touching a life and each life remembers that small gesture reminding them of someone.
Or maybe a true legacy is not something you leave behind for others, but what you left behind for yourself and others. Something of a going away gift to let you know the life you had lived is indeed what you had made of it. Whether it was regretful or blissful all that matters at the end is it has to mean something to you and only you. If you are happy or sad about it, it is proof enough you understand what your life was.
Maybe a legacy is not meant for others, what is it for then? Perhaps it is lesson for others. Your life is what you lived. It is proof you had existed.
Think about it.