Tuesday, February 07, 2012

On leaving something behind

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


So I stay up late and wake up early. And live in the shadows of my laptop's screen. And brainstorm. And pitch. And research. And write. And strive for more. For myself. More importantly, for my family. Fingers on a backlit keyboard, stringing words together while they sleep. Hitting another deadline before they wake up.

Because I can't imagine what it must be like to move through life and not have anything to show for it when I look back. To some, what I create is just a collection of words. To me, it's become life itself.

Your turn: What's your legacy? Why does leaving one matter in the first place?

7 comments:

On My Soapbox said...

I don't necessarily think of leaving anything behind - I'm kind of selfish that way. Some warm, fuzzy thoughts would be nice, but I don't engender that feeling in everyone! As for my "legacy", it will be my extensive family history research. Maybe someday someone else will value it. In the meantime, I value every day. We don't know how long we will be here, so we might as well enjoy what we can. :-)

daisy said...

I think I'll be leaving a "work" legacy. However I do want to leave a family legacy. I want my child and her children, etc...to remember me as someone they loved and who they knew loved them.

sage said...

I recently reviewed a book titled "How, Then, Shall We Live." The last chapter was based on what we give back to the human family... Another book, "Gilead" (fiction) is about an dying father wanting to give something to his young son. Hopefully there will be things I'll leave behind that will benefit not only my family, but the world.

Karen S. said...

I think one of the greatest things a person can leave...... is
the thought of them..... to be remembered! and brought back by, a feel of a touch, the scent of a fresh baked anything, or a familiar saying or unique gesture they made eating fried chicken....to be a good thought inside someone's heart will be plenty enough for me....

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Leave the place nicer than you found it, says I.
~

kcinnova said...

I've been thinking about this sort of thing for a while now and wrestling with the implications of *me* leaving something behind of value to others... especially since my mom was diagnosed with cancer and then passed from this life. Wanting to leave a legacy is the primary reason that I scrapbook our family pictures, and in some respects it is the reason I keep blogging. My kids don't read my blog now, and I often think they don't care one whit about the photographs, but perhaps someday, someone will want to know who we were as a family, who I was, what made me tick, and do we have anything in common?

The questions I struggle with include: will anyone care? Will the scrapbooks just become one more "thing" that no one wants but feels guilty about throwing away? Does it matter?

winobu said...

I just came across this today at the local library where I'm working on my book, "Leaving Something Behind." My interest is in showing people about ways to tell some of their story without writing a book, an aim I found potentially boring and certainly too daunting.

Part of my inspiration comes from writing about a farm that my great-grandfather started in 1871 in south central Nebraska. I know too little about him and wish I knew more. When I started writing about my own life, my son said, "Dad, it's a form of wealth you are leaving for your family."