Do you ever think about it? Posterity? The unfortunate but inescapable realisation that, someday, you will no longer be around?

Most people don't, or if they do, it is in the formalised way: pension funds, life insurance, wills. Oddly bloodless and emotionless ways to deal with what is, after all, the End of You.

Your own personal Eschaton. Fin. Owari. Ende. Slut. The End.

Come on. Think about it for a moment, but not in the bloodless way that the insurance salesmen and actuaries would have you think about it. Make it personal.

You won't be leaving dirty socks lying on the floor next to the laundry hamper anymore. You'll never be doing dishes again. That bald spot that you were obsessing about? No problem, not anymore.

On the other hand, you'll be missing out on stuff, too. Okay, so you'll never get soaked to the skin in icy December sleet, but you'll also never lie on a warm sandy beach, listening to the waves and feeling the breeze on your skin. And hey, some of us like to spend an hour in the toilet, taking a good, leisurely dump while reading a book. But you won't be doing that anymore. You'll never have to wipe your arse afterwards, though, and that's cool.

Have you thought about the people who'll be cleaning out your home? Your family, most likely. They'll be rummaging through your stuff. Got anything really embarrassing? Want them to see it? Maybe you have old love letters, maybe a few all-too-candid pictures. Maybe you don't care. At any rate, they'll be picking up the last of those dirty socks. Probably to throw them out -- or they could wind up washed and given to the local thrift shop. Six weeks from now, some homeless guy could be schlepping around town in your socks. Thought about that? Thinking about it now?

What have you left behind? Not the things, the ideas. Have you made an impression? Maybe you wrote a book, maybe you just noded a little on E2. We'll remember you, of course, while the site exists. Maybe longer -- E2 has made a mark on internet history, and it's not impossible that all of this amazing bullshit we write could be in a virtual museum, one day. And you'd have your own modest niche there.

But have you changed anyone? Is there anyone in the world who is substantially changed (and hopefully improved) for having known you? Did you teach someone something? Raise a child? Lobby for a cause?

Have you made a difference?

Better decide now whether or not you have -- and then, if you haven't, decide whether you want to. It's not too late to make the effort.

And pick up those socks, and do those damn dishes, OK?

Pos*ter"i*ty (?), n. [L. posteritas: cf. F. post'erit'e. See Posterior.]

1.

The race that proceeds from a progenitor; offspring to the furthest generation; the aggregate number of persons who are descended from an ancestor of a generation; descendants; -- contrasted with ancestry; as, the posterity of Abraham.

If [the crown] should not stand in thy posterity. Shak.

2.

Succeeding generations; future times.

Shak.

Their names shall be transmitted to posterity. Shak.

Their names shall be transmitted to posterity. Smalridge.

 

© Webster 1913.

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