Friday, June 17, 2011

What Will Be Remembered?

"Normal is what everyone else is, and you are not."

I often find myself reflecting on the limits of life in general, and it is not something that pleases me.  Allow me to depress you for a moment with my philosophical musings.

Pick up any phonebook in America or across the globe.  Ask yourself, what does almost every person in that book have in common, other than the fact that they are human beings of one sort or another.  I'll tell you.  The cold hard truth of the matter is, the only thing they have in common is that they will be forgotten.  In 100 years, nobody will care to remember who they were or what they did, least of all what they did for a living.  Nobody will care that they laid bricks, or hauled cargo.  Nobody will remember the nails they used to build a house, or the tireless hours they worked at the shipyard to feed their families.  No one will recall the hours they stocked shelves at Walmart, or the days they spent shining shoes.  Nobody will care they even existed, except for a handful of oddball descendants who might look back with limited fondness, not really knowing anything about their ancestor's life.  It is a cold, unforgiving fact of this mortal existence.

It is a curse to feel the mediocrity of life, and to look at what we do as a society in general.  I find myself asking, what do most of us really accomplish?  What are we doing these days, other than existing?  Humanity has stagnated in so many ways, and the vast majority of people don't do anything but consume and perpetuate this meaningless state of entropy.  We have come to merely exist, enjoying a few thrills here and there, and feeding off the innovations of a handful, rather than seeking a grandeur purpose.  The spirit of life has become stale in our own complacency and decadence.

This is one motivation for my career in writing.  I have come to rage against the candle's spark, seeking to carve myself into the memory of time with the written word.  I don't want to be another name in somebody's family bible a hundred years from now.  I don't want to be "great-grandpa Martin" who did such and such for a living his entire life, serving other people who themselves did nothing to advance the boundaries of human consciousness.  I wish to do something more.

If there is to be any purpose to this human life, it must be for the advancement of knowledge.  To expand our understanding of the universe is something worthy of God's creation.

I find myself limited in my ability to learn only by my finances and societal situation.  That is my great tragedy.  I was young and foolish not very long ago, and did nothing to set myself in a position that would give me the opportunity to professionally perpetuate my mental condition.  Even so, I remain reluctant to accept my current station, and that is why I am not as prosperous as I likely could be.  I cannot be content to labor constantly in obscurity, and as such I do not fit myself into a common role among men.  I don't pursue my career with the vim and vigor required for monetary prosperity.  Instead, I do what I must to survive, and continue to fight to make my mark through the only venue offered to me: my works of literature.

I expect a good many people might think me vain, as they do not see the world in such a way, and they're content in the way of things.  They can live happily in their commonplace life, providing for their families and partaking of the simple pleasures around them.  They can find it peaceful to be locked into a specialized task, doing the same thing day in and day out, so long as it pays the bills.  But that sort of life is alien to me, and ever shall be.  I understand and respect that sort of existence, but it's one I can never enjoy in my own heart and soul.  I'm just not built that way.

So, where does that leave me?  Some would rightly say that makes me a weirdo or just plain insane.  Well, so be it.  Call me crazy for wanting to be remembered as more than just a name, and call me a lunatic for daring to challenge my fate.  I will not chain myself to a shallow life of working nine to five until I die.  I work as I must, but never shall I relish it, nor will I conform as most others do to become a piece of human machinery in the commune of a stagnant society.

Never let them say I was a forgettable man.

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