Each generation see’s a number of problems as they grow up and is taught, usually in vain, that they will be the next better generation. We diligently work hard to learn and make our parents proud, our ancestors happy with what we are doing. We research new technology. We fight for rights. We diplomatically approach economies to strengthen our international relations. But we always come to the same points of disappoints that we want to fix by teaching our youth. By strengthening the next generation, we hope to make a difference in the world. The loop continues.
The only thing we can truly leave behind after we die is our legacy. We don’t leave behind an angel or spirit to manipulate the world. We don’t leave behind our body to act as a ghost to tell trivial gestures and pointless pantomimes. The only thing you can leave behind is your name, who you are, what you did. And if you did not accomplish a global scale of accomplishment, you have little chance of really being remembered. So, the one true thing you can leave behind is your legacy, your rationality, what you believed, what made your self.
Your genes pass on the necessary biological information. Your genes take care of the physical treasures you get to pass on to your generation. But it’s up to you to get involved. If you want to make a difference, you have to be passionate. You have to care about what you believe, why you’re alive, and why we’re here. If you want a purpose in life, you have to bleed for it, you have to search down into your depths to find that piece of you that knows you will fall flat one day and end up into dust. You have little time to make a difference. You have little time to explore, experience, learn, and teach.
It should not be depressing to face death, it’s exuberance. You are completely free to think and act, to choose and live. How you think and feel is your choice. If you are healthy and competent to read this, you have the infinite freedom in each breath to make an infinite amount of choices. Will you be happy tomorrow with the sacrifices you made today? It is because of death that you are able to make these choices, that you are able to change the world. As long as humans keep dying, there will be a chance for change, development, and liberty. There will be the chance for sacrifice, for hope, and for freedom to reign.
Humans are not the reason why the universe exists. There was no anthropomorphic God in the sky that created us. There was no two humans that initiated all life. The universe is far more grand than that. It is one of the greatest flaws of human thinking that we, a spec of dust in the garbage bin of the universe, am the purpose for its existence. The purposes we find in life are subjective, for ourselves, and followed through only by ourselves. It is not by the will of a supernatural entity. We are inconsequential. We are insignificant. If you want to make a difference in the grand scale of time, you must do your best to influence on the one thing we are most lucky to have; intelligence and rationality.
We are so lucky to have the ability to speak, to communicate, to express, to recognize other people’s ability to think, to lie, and, after all, to breathe. Think of all the time and variables that had to take place just for you to be here. Think of all the time and variables it took for humans to exist, to come to where we are, to be able to speak with one another. We may be the speck in the garbage bin that is the universe, but we are lucky to know that we are a speck. We are lucky to have that spark in us that can say, “I am alive!”
In your life, you have the choice on what you want to tech the next generation. Always remember that they are the most important thing in our life as a species. The youth deserve the utmost respect as does our elderly. The youth will teach you things about yourself as you will guide them on life’s path. As you age, you will learn more about the flaws in your thinking, flaws in how you have lived, and be humbled. Accept the humility and accept what the youth have to say. Return that gracious gift with guidance.
Tell the youth that the world is not a just world. The good will be punished. The evil will be rewarded. Good people suffer and die. Evil people conquer and relish. While good people can be rewarded and conquer, we cannot make the mistake of thinking that is the way of the world. The pride and anxiety in all of us is our greatest deterrent from progress, from helping our fellow human, from being empathetic. Help the old woman with her groceries.
Be aware that people won’t take action unless others do. Tell the youth this. There is always one to scream the first battle cry. There is always one to start the proud mob of altruistic hearts. We care for each other. We can love each other. But we need those role models. We need those to show that this is true. We easily doubt this in the world, and who can blame them? There is a lot of hate, anger, blood, and suffering. But for every person who is raped, murdered, or molested, I hope that twice as many people interject with a perverted predator, donate money to honest fundraisers, jump into that lake to save the child, crowd together to defeat those hijackers, and scream, “WE will not stand for that!” because I know, just as you do, that the human race has survived for so long because we do care for one another.
Altruism is inherent in us all, but it takes individuals to bring it out of us. Teach your children this. Search yourself for this. I know it’s in you. I know you have a passion for life and your fellow human. Show it.