I awoke this morning, looked at the sky, and felt the grey rain clouds descend through the skylight slowly dulling my senses. It was a good dulling. The kind that mutes out the noise and sets in the calm that prompts the mind to wander to spaces not often visited. This morning that space happened to be the contemplation of a legacy.
As I laid in bed wondering what my legacy would be, I wondered if it was important to me. Is the desire to be remembered an indulgence of the ego, or the need for affirmation of a life well served? The cynic in me tugged at my conscience as I realised that even the need for affirmation, regardless of how well intentioned, talks to the ego more than to servitude.
If servitude is a natural consequence, regardless of intent, is a legacy then not inevitable? As my mind spiralled down the rabbit hole I saw the patterns forming and the relationships unfolding. The distractions of how we contemplate being perceived versus how we’re perceived while contemplating it. But I avoided restraining or deliberately guiding my thoughts. Instead, I observed it as it took a shape and form of its own, similar to an out of body experience. It’s the only liberation I can afford these days.
The questions kept tumbling out of that grey space, demanding answers, but only finding a mild curiosity in its place. I looked at the landscape before me, the beginnings of a desire to articulate a legacy, and smiled a small smile as it dawned on me. To be or not to be is not the question, instead it’s the inevitable outcome of a life lived, or not lived.
My legacy will be my legacy regardless of how I choose to shape it, or define it. Contemplating it proves to be yet another distraction from living it. Living it, however, suggests that I have a sense of conviction in what is important to me, which if true, would mean that such contemplation would be unnecessary since my call to action rings loud and clear in my head.
When that call is muffled or worse, silenced, I find myself contemplating more than living. At times like that I’m not failing my legacy, because my legacy cannot be betrayed. It can only be defined. Just by being, whether I choose to actively contribute or not, my legacy will be known for my contribution or my lack thereof. The fact that I am borne from a mother and not through mist means that I cannot pass through this world being unknown. Therefore, it is not possible to live a life without interruption or contribution.
How I disrupt or contribute defines the quality of my life, and the essence of my legacy. I can go through life demanding to be known, or I can live eagerly seeking to know. Answers come to those who seek it sincerely, but I’ve rarely seen fulfilment reach those who demand it. So it makes sense to invest in curiosity as a means to inform my actions, rather than demand a reciprocation that is almost always lacking.
Quite unexpectedly, I found myself reminded once again that this world is built for respite, not justice. My legacy therefore is not one to hold me in good stead in this world, but is intended to treat me well in the next. The paradox of life is therefore the need to serve those that directly distract us from our true purpose while maintaining a steady course to achieve it in spite of such a colourful distraction.
Early morning thoughts can be therapeutically taxing, and what should be the calm before the day often turns out to be the storm before the distractions instead. Life is waiting to be lived. To be, that is the only sane choice for me.