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Discussion #42 - Legacy

So what does constitute making our mark on the world, anyway? Is it the bigger the better? Or is it more of a personal quest. Is life more about checking off a bucket list? Or maybe it's about experiencing all of it's aspects. Is life purely about survival, competition, compassion, love, enjoyment, or all of the above? If so, in what ratio? It's a difficult question to answer, because I personally believe the answer will be different for everyone. This issue may not seem like a very big deal when we're younger, but as we age, it usually becomes far more important to us. It's that whole pesky "mortal healthy lifespan" thing again.

There is no doubt that providing for/raising our children and helping to raise our grandchildren normally contributes the most to our legacy. There are obviously many who through no fault of their own or by choice, never have children. This in no way means that these individuals (or couples) have any less opportunity to develop a significant legacy. It's of course impossible to accurately measure the mark we make while here on earth, but it's clear there are an infinite variety of ways to go about it. Another common myth as that we must somehow become famous for our contributions to society. While this will indeed occur for some, for the vast majority it will not.

For us men, while we are working, our career contributions seem to satisfy much of this need/craving for most of us. Increasingly, women also are using career for this objective. Raising our families, or caring for our parents or grandparents is also (or should be) major in this area. Then comes retirement (for many of us), and things start to get a little fuzzier in the legacy department. Maintaining a sense of purpose does get a little more challenging after retirement, but there is a massive trade-off involved, and the upside is an incredible amount of personal freedom. In many cases, people actually find their true callings in life after retirement, as a result of this freedom.

Then there is the grandest point of all in this discussion. Are we aware of our legacy on earth after we die? If we are, then great, but if we are not, then this poses a serious issue. At this point, the conversation crosses over into the spiritual area. Basically, even those who believe in a spiritual afterlife (myself included) do not necessarily agree on this one. Some say yes, some say no. Even though none of us really know for sure, it really does matter quite a bit. Personally, I like to believe that we are completely aware, but likely without the physical property of time being involved. Many of us seem to forget that time is a physical property, and the very nature of spirituality normally constitutes the absence of all physics. Time is likely something we will only be bound by while alive on earth.

The lingering effects of our mortal time here definitely matter to some more than others. Some have the belief that once we're gone, it really doesn't matter at all. Most believe that it matters a great deal. Many also believe that we will be judged upon death, and that this will greatly determine how we spend our eternity. What we believe, or how we feel about this issue, will have a massive impact on how we live our life.

Here's a final thought. What about the notion that we may not die in the end at all? It seems pretty farfetched right now, but in the future, who knows? There would obviously be a huge over-population issue to deal with, but many secretly believe that this may occur in their lifetime. There may actually be some who already know and are keeping it under wraps for this very reason. There is also the very real possibilty of a rapture happening before we die. We may not have to be too concerned about our legacy on earth after all.
Discussion #42 - Legacy

So what does constitute making our mark on the world, anyway? Is it the bigger the better? Or is it more of a personal quest. Is life more about checking off a bucket list? Or maybe it's about experiencing all of it's aspects. Is life purely about survival, competition, compassion, love, enjoyment, or all of the above? If so, in what ratio? It's a difficult question to answer, because I personally believe the answer will be different for everyone. This issue may not seem like a very big deal when we're younger, but as we age, it usually becomes far more important to us. It's that whole pesky "mortal healthy lifespan" thing again.

There is no doubt that providing for/raising our children and helping to raise our grandchildren normally contributes the most to our legacy. There are obviously many who through no fault of their own or by choice, never have children. This in no way means that these individuals (or couples) have any less opportunity to develop a significant legacy. It's of course impossible to accurately measure the mark we make while here on earth, but it's clear there are an infinite variety of ways to go about it. Another common myth as that we must somehow become famous for our contributions to society. While this will indeed occur for some, for the vast majority it will not.

For us men, while we are working, our career contributions seem to satisfy much of this need/craving for most of us. Increasingly, women also are using career for this objective. Raising our families, or caring for our parents or grandparents is also (or should be) major in this area. Then comes retirement (for many of us), and things start to get a little fuzzier in the legacy department. Maintaining a sense of purpose does get a little more challenging after retirement, but there is a massive trade-off involved, and the upside is an incredible amount of personal freedom. In many cases, people actually find their true callings in life after retirement, as a result of this freedom.

Then there is the grandest point of all in this discussion. Are we aware of our legacy on earth after we die? If we are, then great, but if we are not, then this poses a serious issue. At this point, the conversation crosses over into the spiritual area. Basically, even those who believe in a spiritual afterlife (myself included) do not necessarily agree on this one. Some say yes, some say no. Even though none of us really know for sure, it really does matter quite a bit. Personally, I like to believe that we are completely aware, but likely without the physical property of time being involved. Many of us seem to forget that time is a physical property, and the very nature of spirituality normally constitutes the absence of all physics. Time is likely something we will only be bound by while alive on earth.

The lingering effects of our mortal time here definitely matter to some more than others. Some have the belief that once we're gone, it really doesn't matter at all. Most believe that it matters a great deal. Many also believe that we will be judged upon death, and that this will greatly determine how we spend our eternity. What we believe, or how we feel about this issue, will have a massive impact on how we live our life.

Here's a final thought. What about the notion that we may not die in the end at all? It seems pretty farfetched right now, but in the future, who knows? There would obviously be a huge over-population issue to deal with, but many secretly believe that this may occur in their lifetime. There may actually be some who already know and are keeping it under wraps for this very reason. There is also the very real possibilty of a rapture happening before we die. We may not have to be too concerned about our legacy on earth after all.
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Copyright 2014-2018 Christopher Wicks | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions