Let’s face it, you’ve done it at least once or twice in your life. You might have even done it today without knowing it. You’ve looked around at the world and wondered “How did things get to this point?” Or maybe you’ve looked around and thought “When I was younger things were different.” Don’t bother lying, you know it’s happened at least once in your life.
Our parents did it, their parents did it, and our kids will one day do it. They’ll look back and wonder why the world isn’t the same as it was when they were younger. Eventually they’ll come to the same realization that the rest of us have to accept at some point: the world stays the same, it’s the people that change. Whether you’re stressing about who’s in charge of the entire sorry mess, or who’s doing what to whom, the only constants in life is that it goes on, and that it will eventually end. So where does that leave us? What does it mean for those who are left behind?
We strive to make the world a better place for those who are being left in our wake, to make certain that they have the tools they need to get by when we’re gone, but we always worry that it’s not enough. Those that spend their entire lives doing for others still at the end wonder if there’s something more they could have done. Believe it or not, at that point they’ve done all they could, and if a person continues to wonder if they could have done more, then they’ve done all they were meant to do. Missed opportunities and chances in life that a person laments later on weren’t meant to happen, or they would have.
Call it fate, chance, luck, or even karma, but human beings do very few things by random chance alone. There have been heated debates throughout the ages concerning what is random, what is purposeful, and where the two meet for the often uneasy compromise that might explain the chaotic fluidity of human nature. Humans are at times wonderfully simple in their many astounding and often frustrating complexities, but one thing is always certain. We are born to live, and we live to die. It might seem morbid, even defeatist, but the moment you draw breath your life is measured by the moments that shape who you are from one inhalation to the last exhale. What matters in between those breaths is that you do everything you can to make certain to live, and live well.
We live to leave behind a legacy for those that come after, to insure that no matter what, no matter how hard it gets, life goes on. Humans are the species that denies the odds and shouts to the heavens that we will remain, no matter what might come. We leave behind the promise of hope for those who will come after.