Sunday, 9 April 2017

Legacy


Have you noticed that the concept of "legacy" has been bandied around a lot in the media recently?   whether it's a deceased celebrity, Olympic athlete, deposed politician or a potentially soon to be reposing royal it seems as though the memory of what we achieve in this lifetime is seen as the new immortality in the absence of a belief in a soul. Facebook has even started a Legacy function so somebody of your choosing can organise your page when you become a "friend" in spirit alone.  it's an understandably human trait to find ways of comforting ourselves that we aren't limited to a few decades spent with our feet on the earth, here for a moment and then gone with nothing except memory to mark our passage.   

A few special souls will make it into the history books but even they quickly become anachronistic, a sepia copy of a once vital life force, a fiction by the time of their great grandchildren.  it's no wonder we need the comfort of an afterlife whether through religion, fame, achievement. it gives meaning and motivation to make our time here count, to become the best we possibly can achieve.
I doubt any of us can honestly look back over a long life and have "no regrets".  the playing of Piaf or Sinatra seems more a rewriting of history or a fond illusion than a statement of fact.  a person who perceives their lifetime as sans wrongdoing or contrition is either a saint or a sociopath and since saints are on the Endangered Animal List these days that leaves only one other option.   my memorial song?  The Animals, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good... Oh Lord please don't let me be misunderstood."   

What legacy would you like to leave behind, how would you like to be remembered?   few of us will have our name on a blue plaque, an entry in Wikipedia, a Foundation dedicated in our honour, most of us will be content with a moderately successful career and a few good friends.   me? i'd like to think the universe would remember me as being a kind soul.   but in all honesty ???  i think the abiding memory of jeni will be of books, cats and coffee !!!



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