I’m running some ads on Facebook for my blogging platform Silvrback, one of which reads as follows:
“In living, our stories are made. In writing, our stories are remembered. Write them, lest they forget.” I like that.
I’ve been thinking about, and intending to write about, legacies for some time now. In part, it is to be an article about blogging and how it is a great vehicle to communicate what we’re about, what our life has been about, from our perspective.
At some point in life, I’m told, I am supposed to care about what mark I’m leaving on the world, one that would make it remember me. I’m assuming that to mean in a positive way. At midlife, we talk about legacies – mainly about leaving one. Supposedly, up to that point, we’ve been building one. All a bit fuzzy.
A legacy…. What is it?
Merriam-Webster defines it first as referring to “leaving a gift of money or personal property.” I’m sure hoping that is not the only definition as my $4.50 legacy will be a message alright, but hardly a flattering one. Whoa! I’m kidding, of course. I suspect I’ll have 10 or 100 times that amount in the end!
The second definition is more expansive: “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” This definition suggests it is something that can be explicit or implicit, intentional or not.
So, our legacy could be what people think of us or what they remember us for. Our reputation, perhaps, what people think of when our name comes up in a conversation. He was kind, generous, patient, etc., descriptions that will likely not be associated with my name.
If I am to leave a legacy, call it a life message, it would seem better that I make it explicit. Based on my observation of people, we conclude things about others that are not well considered. So, some statement as to what my life was all about, or at least what I wanted it to be about, seems a good idea. And better it’s written down.
It is almost certain that what people think of me is often not what I think of me. While it might not change their mind about me, it seems best for me to say what was on my mind as I went through my life. The world can take it or leave it.
Further, I think we do pursue ends in life that we thought were important at the time. We also might look back at any number of these and wonder why we were so caught up in them. But, really, we’re the ones who have at least an idea as to what we were trying to do, what we were thinking, while pursuing these things, however misguided they look in hindsight.
I think writing, blogging in this case, is a medium by which we can reflect out loud on those events, phases and activities that comprised our lives. Reiterating the definition above, a legacy is “something transmitted by or received from…” us.
“In living, our stories are made. In writing, our stories are remembered. Write them, lest they forget.”
I like that.
Note: This article simultaneously posts on 4060men.com.