Legacy – Continued

The idea of a legacy continues to stir in my mind.

*This is a continuation of a previous entry that I felt I still had more to say on the subject of legacy*

I’ve been inspired by a Reddit thread on financial independence and listening to Hardcore History by Dan Carlin in thinking about legacy. It’s boggling to me to thread through a book on history, and read about an important event, whether the life of a historic individual, a battle where thousands or millions died, the overthrow of an old regime, and how it’s all wrapped up into a single page or paragraph. We don’t get a deep look into the trial and tribulations of an individual or a group of people, but instead we get the quick cole-notes summaries of them. Yes, some books will go deeper and more in-depth depending on the figure (such as Caesar), but it’s incredible to see how a legacy from someone can compare and how it differs from the modern age.

When it comes to legacy, it is now far easier to leave our (primarily digital mark).

Leave your thoughts on a blog, your voice on a podcast, your photos on flickr or instagram. Google can be part of your legacy of what you leave behind: your own words, or thoughts, or others writing about you. Are you going to have a bust made of you, or will you be depicted in art like what used to be? Probably not, although you are free to pursue that direction.

It’s incredible to think that how many individuals through history have let their legacy slip away. How many incredible figures have been lost to time, because historians ignored them or their work was lost forever? According to Hardcore History, how can someone as prominent as Genghis Khan not have a general consensus of how he looked like? With the legacy that he left behind, how was that detail missed or lost to time?

With technology, we will likely not be having these same issues. Not just prominent people in the world, like an Elon Musk or an Obama, but you and me. It’s easier than ever to share what you look like, and who you are with the internet. In the digital age, it’s never been easier to express yourself. How would a figure like Caesar have used social media to express himself?

Of course, there are concerns to leaving your legacy entirely through digital. Will this data be lost one day? It is possible. What about a house that you built, or the paintings that you made, those will go too one day won’t they? Most likely, but in a digital age, there’s a different kind of weight given to something in our legacy that we leave behind that exists beyond the digital realm.

Leaving your legacy in the digital world and the real world.

Why not do both? Instead of spending your life consuming digital content, why not produce your own podcast, your own blog, your own video channel, your photo stream that you can leave behind for others, to give a snapshot of where you were at the time. On the other side of the coin, leaving something behind in the real world, whether building a house, a statue you made, paintings you drew, or a tree you planted can have great value as well that simply can’t be replicated in the digital world.

Time will only make it easier to leave your legacy behind.

People from thousands of years ago, hundreds of years ago, or even mere decades ago didn’t have the resources that we do now in leaving our legacy behind. Why not produce something of value, instead of gossip, silly but useless posts on Reddit, or your thoughts on the latest Marvel movie? Give something of value that it truly yours.