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Normally I do not care to write about what legacy I would like to leave behind that people will appreciate because it draws focus on what I have achieved or what I failed to achieve in life. To tell everybody what I have achieved sounds like bragging, so it is against my way of life. But the WordPress made a prompt the other day and asked this question so in response I wrote the following paragraph that many people read and liked so I decided to make it a full blog.
I struggled through difficult times but never gave up. This struggle led to my successful life so do not give up just because you failed once or twice or people let you down in a big way. Some people saw me struggling and gave me a hand. Read my biography to know all the details. Aumolc
The word legacy means what example you may leave behind that others may take inspiration from to do good work that may benefit the next generation. It does not mean that you should leave behind a bad legacy like that of a tyrant and very corrupt person that other bad people may take inspiration from and become like you so when you write about legacy, it means good legacy.
Some people want to know what legacy you may leave behind that may inspire others to follow. It is a question that requires a thorough introspection. You should ask yourself if you have led an exemplary life after all the struggles and difficulties and learned your hard lessons that you applied in your life to overcome all the challenges. If yes, then that should be your legacy that others may someday learn from and be guided accordingly.
With the word legacy, one person who left a lasting legacy comes to my mind. He was no other than Terry Fox who gave his life to raise funds for cancer research that benefited millions of cancer patients. He was only 22 when he died but he left a golden legacy that acquired him the status of a national hero in Canada. There are numerous examples of such heroes who have left a lasting positive impression on the succeeding generations. (Please read here my blog on Terry Fox called Determination in this context.
We know that as individuals, we are insignificant in the greater scheme of life itself so to think that you are important and have something to contribute to the world to make it a better place, you only show your inflated ego that no one cares about. People have very short memories so no one will remember you as a person unless they somehow have benefitted from you in some way.
The graveyards are full of epitaphs that are broken and have fallen down covered with weeds that people just ignore although the person may have been great in life. They did not leave behind a biography, so no one knew about them and what they achieved in life.
But when a child took a vow of revenge in the garden of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919 where a cruel British officer called Dyer shot dead 1600 men, women and children who were peacefully protesting the British Raaj, that child kept his promise and went to England to fulfill his vow. He was hanged by the British, but his bones were brought back to India and were given a state funeral.
Dyer is relegated to the infamous dust bin of history for his crime but that child called Udham Singh became the national hero of India who gave his life to keep his promise. Now a life size statue of Udham Singh near the gate to the park in Amritsar will remind you how some people create a legacy that the whole country honors. ( Please read my blog here called The day of infamy )
The history has a way to bury you by not mentioning you once in its pages unless you were a tyrant like Genghis Khan or a traitor. Good people are rarely mentioned so the history relegates them to the dustbin unless you have done something spectacular in a negative way. The life of an ordinary but educated person who lived all his life honestly is boring to the next generation, so they don’t care who you were and what were your accomplishment in life.
Even your own relatives will soon forget you because they cannot get any more gifts or money from you, so they take off your dated photos from the wall or their albums once you are gone and buried or turned to ashes. The next generation who did not know you personally totally ignore you or your contribution to their well-being. This is the story of the average human being unless you are a person with incredible determination to do something extraordinary like Udham Singh or Rampyari ( read my blog here called the Unsung heroine Rampyari )
Stephen Hawking once said that we are like a grain of sand in a beach that is endless and the grain of sand that is you is washed away by the waves leaving no trace, so the analogy is quite powerful. It drives the point that we as individuals leave no trace once we are gone because the waves of time obliterate us as surely as the ocean wave that leaves no trace on the beach.
If you are a Christian or a Moslem, then people may bury you and put an epitaph of sorts with your name, but no one visits the grave that gets covered in weeds. If you were a Hindu, then your body is burned to ashes and the ashes are thrown into a river that eventually carries it to the ocean. Just a few years after the death of a person, people rarely talk about him, so his memory is erased from their collective memory.
So, to leave a positive legacy, you have to do something people will remember especially if they continue to benefit from your legacy. Some people make a small school for children or a rural hospital that later grows on its own and benefits thousands of people. Such legacies are fondly remembered. ( Read my blog called What will be your legacy here )
Others collect hundreds of cars that collect dust in a barn somewhere overgrown with weeds, so the collection of cars benefits no one except perhaps the ego of the collector. So, if you are thinking of leaving behind a positive legacy, do something that benefits others. A good person does not brag about what he has done for others and people may not remember him, but he cares that people benefit from his deeds. It is said that the best donor is the anonymous donor because he does not do good to inflate his ego or a person who raises money for cancer research before he dies like Terry Fox.
Some of us are born to leave a legacy. It may be a good legacy or a bad legacy. The choice is yours.
Source: Google photo
Note: My blogs are also available in French, Spanish, German and Japanese languages at the following links as well as my biography. My blogs can be shared by anyone anytime in any social media.