Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What will we leave behind?

This morning, I am running a temperature and not feeling all that good. Kind of achy and sick to my stomach. I wanted to go swimming, but there are several older folks there who have many serious illnesses and I do not want to give them a bug so I am staying home today and feeling sorry for myself, which I have no right to do as I have been blessed beyond measure in my life.

As I was laying in bed trying to feel better, Jackie was playing music from Pandora on the stereo. Many of the artist she was listening too, have passed but I realized that no matter what their personal life was like, no matter the health problems they may have had, now that they are gone, still millions of people can enjoy and appreciate their music, movies, or books. Whatever they left for humanity will stay with us for years and years. The recent tragic passing of Robin Williams is an example. He struggled from depression apparently for years and finally gave in to the temptation to get out of his pain by taking his own life. But still he will be remembered and loved by many people for a long time.

I have to ask myself, what will I leave for future generations? I know I have a family who will remember me for a generation or two, but did I contribute to society in any meaningful way? I had a lot bigger plan for my life. I wanted to be a doctor and help people. I gave up on that dream. I was talented in music but let that go and can no longer play worth a hoot, so that is gone. I built a data center for law enforcement and a communications network, but that too is long gone and the work I did for 30 years in in the dust bin. So it is easy to get depressed on my current condition in life. 

I will never be famous most assuredly. I doubt I will invent anything that will have an impact on society. I for sure will not leave songs or movies for future generations. So what can I or anyone else, who would be considered a normal person do for future generations? In my case I think it boils down to just a few things. Live as good a moral life as you can. Try to be kind to everyone. But most importantly for me, I believe I and you have a responsibility to tell and leave your stories. That is, document what you and other family members have done with their lives. 

I am involved in the hobby of genealogy and have traced my family back many many generations. In doing so, I have found stories and events that these people have experienced. The sacrifices they have made to make our lives better. Someone needs to carry this on in the future. I will leave my records and stories on-line and in hard copy form and pass it along to someone in my family. Maybe in this way a little immortality can be be achieved and something worthwhile passed on to other people to enjoy. At least I hope so.