A Forest Clearing, from In Darkest Africa by H.M. Stanley, published 1890.
Wandering Musings on Meaning
Creating a legacy is important to me — I would go as far as to say that creating meaningful things is my highest priority in life. It’s a fairly elusive task, though. You can’t really see what’s important until hindsight.
Instead of ruminating on whether or not I’m working on the right thing, I just force myself to stay focused, and work as hard as I can. Pretty heavy stuff, but the mundane neurotic-ism and anxiety of the general mind tends leads to that sort of heavy thinking often.
Trying my best to do meaningful work is a factor as to why I write here. To create an open archive of my thoughts. Most of the time, the negligible thoughts I have — on their own — aren’t really anything striking. My hope is that the whole — the sum of these parts — would be something worth looking at, something significant.
Even though, in reality, there’s nothing special about me —like the grand multitude of present humanity, I come from a long line of ordinary people. There is no path set for me, I do not believe in any fixed or interesting destiny. No hidden relics or interesting secrets. But exactly because of this, anything I do end up accomplishing is my own.
In this massive world, where I feel so small, there is so much entropy — people seem wrapped up in their own lives they don’t have any time to think about the future or the bigger picture. There’s a never-ending torrent of information that floods us, and yet I find that there’s so much wonderment and beauty in the world that’s ignored.
And the future is uncertain. I think endlessly about the unwavering breakthroughs of our future — how far civilization has come in only a century. At the same time, grand visions of the future leave me feeling so uneasy. What of me will remain? The only thing I am certain of is what I write is set on paper — and it remains.
“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That’s when I will be truly dead — when I exist in no one’s memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy