I've been thinking about posterity lately. Who am I kidding? I've been thinking about posterity almost constantly since I became cognizant. At this time of year, maybe a touch more.
I had a great 2022. I intend to have a great 2023. The key, I think, is being happy wherever you are. I know it sounds simple, possibly impossible, but the apostle Paul said it best: (I'm paraphrasing slightly) "I've learned what it is to have plenty and to be in need. I've learned to be happy whatever my circumstances." Of course, he's talking to the Phillippians of he first century and we're pretty removed from that. But, the spirit is the same today. Trust in God and let the good times roll, even if they're peppered with striking challenges.
Had a call with a good friend of mine who's facing some striking challenges right now. Of course, I can't share what those are, but they're striking. Suffice it to say, they came out of left field. And, after my initial sympathy, I immediately put on those shoes and examined my life. Just like everyone I've ever met. What I found was a preponderance of self interest.
The average someone else's life is a distant second place to our own. Everything read in the news, heard on the wires, shared in person is reflected by our own dark mirror. Maybe that's how God intended, but I don't think so. I like to say we're only as strong as the weakest among us. Maybe we're only as compassionate at the most selfish among us. Oy! God forbid. Because He teaches us to love without measure, even our enemies. That's a tough one. But, by doing so, and here's the kicker, we feel better. So, putting the average someone a distant second might just make us lonely at the top.
My success, our success, is dependent on other people. No matter one's business, interests or business interests, nobody walks through this world alone. No matter what he or she might think.*
I've had some professional successes this past year and it makes me feel like the train is moving in the right direction. It would be easy to get a little full of myself. After all, I beat the odds (which is WAY better than beating your head against a wall) and got paid to act for most of the calendar. Still, you can't swing a cat, even in my neighborhood, and hit someone who recognizes me. And, that's the key. Recognizing yourself (read myself) as another earth walker doing their best, not falling prey to elevated website views, or social media followers or any of that crap. With God, one keeps grounded.
Posterity? Well, that's the thing. It has it's charms. But, like anything in life, I don't think we can set out to leave a good legacy. We just have to do it. Write what we think we should write, speak the way we think we should speak, help the way we think we should help, put the time in and let the carmik chips fall where they may. Of course, if you're taking your ques from the creator of the universe you're definitely in good company.
I'll pick up career happenings in the new year, but for now, let's just enjoy being part of something greater than ourselves.
Blessings all. Happy New Year.
*Read Mario Cuomo's Reason to Believe. It gives egalitarianism permission. Great book!