Follow that question with: “What is one thing you would like to be remembered for when that inevitable time comes?”
Tough. I’m tempted to fabricate an irresistibly likeable personality (i.e. someone cool, funny, smart, and strong). Or the cliche: Issa laughs at life at its worst and cries in joy at its best. Yet answers of this sort always attract animosity and it’s pointless to lie to oneself.
Remember me for what I said or how I acted?
This world will outlast us. I guess it’s worth contemplating what legacy we want to leave behind. Maybe actions not words, or both? For me, both stick to memory like a tasteless gum. Should I worry that people won’t remember me as I would like to be recalled? Truth is, I find this question overwhelming just counting how many people I’ve encountered throughout my life. It makes me want to faint. I can’t give an exact portrait of the Issa they will remember.
Let’s narrow the question to who’s involved in remembering. Loved ones, frenemies, enemies, strangers? Why should I bother about their memories of me? Every answer to this single question opens a can filled with more questions.
I haven’t figured out how to craft the “Issa” I want people to remember. At least not yet. A breakfast might help. Get yours, too.
*Revisiting a post I wrote three years ago. I still couldn’t answer this question. But TED came up with a beautiful video trying to pin down a logical way to answer this question. Check it out.
“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone;therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by that final form of love, which is forgiveness.” – Reinhold Niebuhr