This I Believe

Travis - state college, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem, death

WARNING: The following ideas can be construed as cynical. I assure you, I am only being realistic.

So comes the time when you must go to the lonesome valley. A generation fades from existence, while the following generation presses forward to leave their mark, their legacy, and their history. May the dead be honored for their achievements and their follies. For a short time they drill to the forefront of our minds while their deeds are still fresh. But lo, as generations pass, the dead are no longer remembered and all of their efforts to making a lasting impression fritters away. This I believe.

This thought fermented itself this past week when as the death of my father. After we laid him below the dark soil, I began telling stories of our adventures to my girlfriend and other would be listeners. I could see in their almost empty eyes that these stories had no meaning to them. They would sit and nod, or occasionally laugh, but the life of the man that molded me really had no meaning to them. You might have experienced this when telling a friend of a past event that happened to you. But you can tell that their interest wanes.

Interest in other’s history fades as time passes. Reflect for a minute. Can you recall the full name of your great grandma? Or can you even recall her face without the aid of a picture? The probability of you answering “yes” to these questions is very slim. And it decreases marginally on how many generations pass.

Therefore, as none of your or my deeds will ever be carried from generation to generation; live your life how you wish to live it.

As for the extreme minority of people in history who have cause change. Remember this, they are the few of billions that have lived and died without anyone noticing. Even some very important discoveries are not accredited to anyone as they were lost to time. Don’t believe me? Who harnessed the power of fire? Who was created the wheel? Who was the first to domesticate animals?

I am sorry if I disheartened you. I am just a realist. But remember, no one will recall your deeds be then good or bad. My advice: have fun with life.