I recently read a post that dealt with legacy. It was essentially a quote from the famous novel, Farenheight 451. To sum it up in a very non poetic way, it said we all need and deserve to have a legacy, the word being defined as difference in state of an object after our passage.
That quote got me thinking. Is that really what legacy is? A change we make that identifies us after our death? Do we really all deserve to have one? Is it even necessary to want one?
First on what legacy is (I’m not going to use any dictionary for this one, just good old Mr Rambles): To me, a legacy is indeed a change, but not usually a materialistic one. A legacy is a part of your life’s work or actions that is deemed worthy of teaching or passing on to the next generation, or, at least, to resist temporal erosion… for a time.
Indeed, a legacy has a lifetime of its own. Some, like Shakespeare’s or Da Vinci’s, are particularly resistant, some might say stubborn. However, I doubt that George RR Martin and Adele will be remembered in 400 years.
Speaking of time, a legacy isn’t created over an instant either. It’s generated over a lifetime, given shape over the years. It’s not a steady process. It can be strengthened by an action, and devitalized by another. Its importance and impact can change as society evolves. Legacies have all sorts of impacts, some of which aren’t very glorifying for those they represent.
That being said, do we all deserve a legacy? How does one rate the importance of an action or actions? To expand on that point, does our actions, good and bad, especially bad, not deserve to be forgotten, in order to give way to the next generations?
On a personal note, I’d say we all have a legacy, however small it might be. Whether they are physical things, like this blog for example, that will likely be around after we cease to be, or at least have the ability to, or more metaphysical things, like my over analytical tendencies, that will surely live out through the memories of loved ones after I kick the bucket.
If you do not know the amazing Celine JeanJean, you should definitely go check her blog out. She was kind enough to nominate me for a readership award (still working on that post BTW Celine, but I started this one a day or two before and didn’t want to let it sit in my unfinished projects folder for any length of time…), and is an amazing and entertaining blogger, as well as a great reader and commenter! This post is rather brief, so please, feel free to share any thought down below. What do you think about this legacy stuff?