Need Legacy?

February 2, 2010

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” Chuck Palahniuk

Well that sounds good. But forever? Really? Chuck Palahniuk is a writer and I suppose he expects his books to live beyond his years but forever? Really? What about when the sun goes out, will Fight Club still be living on?

I’ve been seeing a lot about legacy lately – I guess just noticing a lot about legacy. It seems to me the need to leave a legacy comes form a basic insecurity about who we are.

I come from a Mormon background and Mormons are big on genealogy. So we have all these names of ancestors on the old family tree. Names. Very few stories. And the stories are just stories. No story will ever be able to get at the essence of who a person was back when. Even the greats of history are but a fraction of themselves when summed up by even the most thoughtful historian or biographer and that fraction can’t help but be partly fiction. Peoples own writings may give a fuller picture of the person behind the words and sentences and paragraphs but I know from my own writing that it is still just a finite illumination, like a photograph which is briefly preserved for but a moment in all eternity. And yes, it can’t help but be partly fiction :).

Legacy. On the old family tree I know that for a few generations some may pass on some colorful stories of my brief time here, my life has had some colorful and even notorious moments, but they don’t know me. I’ll be happy to be a simple brief footnote then pass into oblivion with the rest on that tree.

I don’t need to live on in human minds to live on. I will live on past my death just as everyone else will live on past their deaths. That just is. You may say, who can know what comes after death, we must be remembered for our lives. I say, as a medium I have sensed and talked with those who have lived on after death and it’s no big deal. Cats do it, dogs do it, my dad does it, we all do it.

When will we ever tumble into the security that we are living beings who are simply inhabiting a body at the moment. You are OK. I am OK. We will always and forever be OK whether or not we are accomplished or notorious or just another Joe in this human form. I want to just shout from the rooftops GET OVER YOURSELVES! You don’t need to worry about how you are doing. You are doing fine. Now get out there and enjoy your life. If you happen to produce something from that which will live on in minds for another generation or two, fine. Good for you. I hope you have a really good time producing it but it has very little to do with your worth. In fact nothing at all to do with your worth. In fact worthiness has nothing to do with anything at all.

You can stop trying so hard to live up to some trumped up idea of how you should live and how you should be and how important you are and what you have to leave behind. If you can do that – then you may open to a wonderful life that may even lead to the respect which is your due anyway. ENJOY!


8 Responses to “Need Legacy?”

  1. 5kidswdisabilities Says:

    Wonderful suggestions! And so TRUE!!
    Lindsey Petersen

    • Trish Scott Says:

      Thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment Lindsey. I popped over to your site and I must say, you are leaving a WONDERFUL legacy – the kind that lives in the hearts of those you have nurtured to wonderful lives. I take my hat off to you and your children. You are the real deal.

  2. suburbanlife Says:

    You hit the nail squarely on the head, Trish, with this post. Living a good, engaged life is legacy enough. G

  3. Hayden Says:

    Humm. I take a different position on this. Pretty close on the legacy thing – don’t need my name on a wall anywhere – but the STORIES! To me, stories are vitally important. not because any story can capture the person any more than mythology can, (stories = contemporary myth-making) not because it’s accurate, not even because it’s a lesson – but because stories are, to me, the way we allude to truth. Stories make our imaginations catch fire. Stories give us a hint that there is more out there, and it is (in the end) more like us than we could ever have imagined.

    I’m saddened by the way we give up our personal stories and leave story-telling to the “professionals”- just as we’ve given up our ability to dance, sing, do art. We’ve put our souls on the back burner and become smaller because we are “only” spectators.

    So I agree with you to the point that self-aggrandizement is a real waste of time and energy, but not to the extent that I would lose a single, precious story that anyone cares to share. If it’s real & not self-serving, it’s bound to be wonderful to hear.

    • Trish Scott Says:

      Oh I agree with you – beautifully put! But in the greater scheme of things (which is my favorite playground) we have been here but a fraction of the time dinosaurs were and we are bound to pass on as a species sooner rather than later and any particular individual is less than a grain of sand yet has such grand schemes for leaving a legacy. Like wow if I write a great book I will go on forever. We take ourselves way too seriously on the one hand, our physical being, and not seriously enough as spiritual/creative beings with no beginning and no end. So suppose it all depends on the backdrop (the readers favorite playground) how well/badly this particular post sits.

  4. Melissa Says:

    “You can stop trying so hard to live up to some trumped up idea of how you should live and how you should be and how important you are and what you have to leave behind. If you can do that – then you may open to a wonderful life that may even lead to the respect which is your due anyway. ENJOY!”

    I love this so much, I feel – I think we all do to a certain extent – so much pressure to be doing it RIGHT. And then when my decisions aren’t understood by the people around me, it feels so painful and lonely. And then never thinking I’m doing ENOUGH to leave a legacy….what a conundrum! Thanks for reminding me that we’re all here to leave our very particular, very unique stamp on the world and that nobody can tell us what those things are…only our souls can tell us that.


    • Trish Scott Says:

      Hi Melissa,

      As you say “…only our souls can tell us that.”

      And they don’t tell ALL until the fat lady sings! LOL

      Thanks for dropping by my place.

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