Sometimes I think about immortality. People that have received the “gift that keeps on giving.” Most people that find immortality are either people that did something heroic, were pioneers of their time, discovered something that benefited the world and in other cases harmed the world.
Good and Bad are immortalized
Some immortal people are the ones written in the Iliad, some written in the bible and some written in history books. Sometimes the actual writers got their own immortality telling the tales of other immortals. Wow, that’s interesting in itself. Immortality came to others because of atrocities committed like Hitler and Stalin. Genghis Khan is long remembered by all for his acts of cruelty. Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon both are immortals for their discovery. John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer will be immortals for their savage acts on innocents. The names go on and the categories from which they come stretch the span.
Will I be an immortal?
There are 310 million people in the United States and 6 billion people in the world. That is a lot of competition for what I would estimate only allows the absolute smallest percentage of inclusion into the club. Celebrities of course will certainly have a chance but I can’t see one of the 2014 top trending search names like Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber achieve that immortality. They will soon be forgotten and only mentioned rarely as evidenced by a bad example by the me. Anna Nicole Smith. For awhile she occupied the papers after her death, but now, not a peep. We have all moved on. A better example is someone who reached the pinnacle of fame and we barely hear his name uttered or see it in the papers anymore, Michael Jackson, King of Pop. How long before no one remembers him?
Will we be remembered by anyone?
Sadly, but I don’t think so. Even if you continue your bloodline by having children, your family as well will soon forget you. When I say soon, I mean in less than 200 years you will be all but forgotten. I say this with conviction after doing some experimenting. The experiment can be conducted by you with anyone you like and I am almost certain that you will find the same result I did and have to come to the same sad conclusion.
First ask yourself and answer honestly.
Question #1: What are your maternal and paternal grandparents names and what did they do for a living?
- How did you do? I did well, I knew all four and their occupations. This is where you start eliminating people because you will be surprised by the amount of people who don’t know.
Question #2: What are the names of both your maternal and paternal great grandparents and what was their occupation?
- I did terrible, I didn’t know any. No names and no jobs.
I could go to the next question, but after trying this experiment on at least 20 people I didn’t meet anyone who knew all four great grandparents names, so I stopped there rather than continuing on with a question on great, great grandparents. It was rather depressing.
If we forget the very basics of what are great grandparents did for a living and not even know their names, I would have to conclude that they are not in our thoughts or memories. They are a shadow of thought. Someone, we can’t even put a name to a face, yet we all owe our very existence to them and none or few of us know who they were or how they survived. That’s sad but it is a reality. For even the lucky person that can remember such information on their ancestors, there will come a time when they too don’t know a name or details. When that happens, the “immortality” ends there.
We will die one day but will our memory last throughout time? Probably not. If we do something amazing or horrific, we will almost forever secure our place amongst the immortals. The internet will give us all a chance to achieve immortality. If you write articles or author books or a photographer, this will be your chance to achieve life everlasting. Your articles and pictures will survive in cyber world from the minute you post them and outlive you. They will be able to reach and touch generations to come. The sites like ancestry.com will help us all remain in the memories of our offspring but will we be remembered or just a jotter entry on a blotter or a twig on the tree of life. Most of us will be forgotten in 200 years but the fortunate few who invest some time will achieve immortality without having to reinvent the wheel or by doing some dastardly deed. Just some food for thought and you will decide if you will be immortal.
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