Friday, July 10, 2009

When it's all said and done...

Legacy: (Noun) Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.

"When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed

And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory

Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest"

Peace and blessings,

Wow, it's really been 6 months since the last time I posted something! Anyhow, I have noticed a common thread amongst my favorite song at the time (Linkin Park's "Leave Out All The Rest"), and two movies and three movies that I have seen recently (Death Note 1 & 2, and the Dark Knight-although I've seen the Dark Knight before). In the Death Note movies, the plot centers around a Law Student named Light who finds a notebook that gives life-taking powers to its owner. The owner of the notebook only has to write someone's name in the book, and they die. Anyhow, both movies were focused on catching this Law Student, and the task force was headed by the chief of police, who was the suspect's father. Once the identity of the suspect was revealed at the end of Death Note 2 and the suspect is killed, his father instead tells his wife and daughter that Light died trying to catch the suspect, thus protecting his son's image in the eyes of his mother and sister.

In the Dark Knight, Harvey Dent, a talented and morally grounded District Attorney tries to bring down the Joker and rid Gotham City of fear and apathy. However, once the Joker gets the best of him, kills the love of his life, and causes him to damage half of his face, Harvey becomes morally "ungrounded," and becomes criminal. Once fighting side-by-side with Batman, Harvey and Batman were now on opposite sides. Once Batman stops him and Harvey dies, Batman and the police commissioner agree to tell the media that Harvey never "went astray" and died Gotham's hero.

After playing out the Linkin Park song and watching these movies all in the same week, and hearing about the upcoming
  • Legacy Conference,
  • I came to the following conclusion: Most people, on some level or another, are concerned with (1) how they will be remembered when they die and (2) how their friends and loved ones will be remembered when they die. Furthermore, the actions of Light's father and Batman suggest that most of us also assume that others are concerned about how they will be remembered as well. Assuming for the sake of argument that this is true, why would this be the case?

    I think there are two reasons for why this concern with how we and others are remembered is so inter-woven into the human experience. One reason is that we want make sure that when our family and friends think about our lives, those thoughts will be filled with happy, positive, and encouraging memories. We hope that through our lives, we have helped make the world a better place. The other reason is that on some level, we believe that there has to be "something else" to our existence after we die, and insofar as that "something else" involves us being held accountable for how we lived our lives, we want to make sure we lived our lives "the right way."

    What do you think? Do you think people are generally concerned with how they will be remembered when they die? Are you? If so, why is this a concern for you? Take care, stay blessed, and speekonit...

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