Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright, Author

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I remember you

We are born. We live. We die.

Okay, now that I’ve reduced our existence to the most basic definition; it sort of makes our lives seem inconsequential. I’ve often thought of ants in mounds, thousands of them, bringing food to the queen so she can lay eggs and make more ants and that is the only purpose of a worker ant over its entire lifecycle, to perpetuate the colony. As humans, we track our time on earth better than insects but, in the end, our only true function is to “make more ants”.

By saying this . . . awful thing, do I have you’re sensibilities abraded? Are you ready to poke a stick in my eye and start an argument over it? If so, good! Because, that just means you’re thinking about it in a provocative way.

Now that I have your attention let’s discuss legacy building; when you’ve drawn your last breath, how do you want the world to remember you? Or, do you even care?

Although only an opinion, I believe, and deeply so, that every human that lives, have lived, or ever will live will at some point in life think about this—some less, some obsessed. To parents, a baby is their legacy; to a wood smith, a piece of furniture is a legacy; to a writer, a book is a legacy and on and on and on; simply stated, something tangible that extends beyond a single lifetime. I would argue that, regardless how conscious of it you are, this has a permanent comfortable place in your head, albeit the subconscious for some. And, that makes me wonder if it’s genetically embedded. What do you think? I think . . . maybe.

To some, how they are remembered is not as important as the fact they are; Charles Manson as example. I believe he very much wants to be remembered for what he did, as reprehensible as it was. The same logic would hold true for many criminals, warlords and the like. But, for the greater number, it makes sense to me that people just want to believe and take comfort in knowing they’ve left this world a slightly better place and that someone will care enough to say so after they’re gone.

What about politicians? Think about this; most people in public office are from wealth, often multiple generations of it. They have already experienced the material side of life and are looking for something more, something that money cannot buy, although public offices can be bought and are on a regular basis in this country. People with the most money win elections. Period! But, that’s an argument for a different day. I’m referring to power, admiration of the masses, the ability to manipulate people and situations—thus, leave their name(s) attached to something for future generations to remember them by. All we can hope for is that, while trying desperately to build a legacy, they actually do leave the world better than they found it. Nonetheless, I say it’s a huge reason they run for office in the first place; to become known for something and then remembered for it. Is this a bad thing, a bad reason? I don’t think necessarily so. There are many motivations; this is just one, but a big one . . . or, so I believe.

This blog began as the result of something I saw recently on a sit-com. Not a place you’d expect to find thought provoking material, right? Well, sometimes we just have to turn over a few rocks, no matter how unassuming those rocks may be, before we discover something profound. Here’s the scenario: A home is broken in to and a pre-teen boy is accused and arrested. The real criminal plants a stolen item on a dead homeless man found by a dumpster in the alley and that man is accused, thereby clearing the boy. As a small group of residents stand around the body and discuss it, they come to the conclusion that he will be just another John Doe, living an unremarkable life and dying the same way. But, the real thief with some remorse says, “At least he’ll be remembered for something.” And that’s all it took for my head to start whirling out these thoughts.

So, as you go about your business today, give a little thought to how you believe the world will remember you. Afterwards, ask yourself: Is this how I want to be remembered? You have the power to make it anything you like but you really need to get started on it.

Now, if I can only follow my own advice. . .

Author of
"Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007/print & ebook
"Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009/print & ebook
"Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press 2010/ ebook only
“Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only
“Dancing Away”/short story/Untreed Reads/ebook only

“Phobia”/Booktrope/2011/print & ebook
“Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/2012/print & ebook
“Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”
“The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release)
“Hackberry Corners, Texas 1934”
“Helping Hand For Ethan”
“The Lost Decades”