What will be your legacy?

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    I notice as I get older that a lot of people do care, what people think of them, even after they die. Politicians for example, worry that they will be remembered for something special. One Australian politician likes to be remembered for making a formal apology to the indigenous population for poor treatment of them by the whites, decades ago and even over 100 years ago. That is just an example. I mean I’m personally glad he did it. Parents must like to be in their childrens’ memories. Be appreciated for being good parents or passing on their wealth. I still remember my parents lovingly but I don’t think they went out of their way to create a legacy deliberately.
    Do I care if I’m forgotten after my death? Maybe a part of me does. The part that doesn’t want to accept mortality. The part that doesn’t want to feel like a tiny insect in the huge universe. Don’t we all want to feel that we had some impact on the world? that we weren’t just a statistic for statisticians and historians.
    My legacy will be this:
    “Jock started a lot of heavy threads on Internet forums that helped people sleep that were suffering insomnia.” 🙂 What a legacy!


    Dear jock:

    The best legacy I hope for is that after I die someone will say that I was a loving person.

    I used to dream a long time ago of being Rich and Famous. I dreamed of performing (singing, dancing, acting… none for which I have a talent) in front of thousands of cheering people, a huge audience; my performances being broadcast on TV all over the world. In my mind’s eye, I saw people standing, cheering me. Oh, I was so hungry for attention, so starving to be seen. I thought I needed the whole world’s attention while all along all I needed was the love of … just one person.

    I dreamed of world wide fame because I was so lonely, unloved, afraid and hurt for so very long.

    So if I could love just one person who wasn’t loved before, then I have done the most important thing in the world.



    …(didn’t record my comment..)


    Hi jock,

    I want to be remembered as the Matriarch of my family, and not just my kids. Even though I’m the youngest, I want to still be “The Holiday Aunt” that makes sure everyone can get together in our house and eat good food, sing, and have a great time!

    To pay, or help pay for everyone’s college educations so they don’t find themselves in crippling debt before their working life has even begun.

    And, in ten or twenty years perhaps, do something “great”. Now, I don’t know what “great” is yet. But something along the lines of, say, that guy who would fly destitute Russian Jews to Israel.

    And of course people finding out at my funeral how much I really did do and being all, “What an amazing woman, I had no idea.” 😀

    But in the meantime, being a Good Person, or simply striving to be good, is, in itself, a triumph. (At least that’s what I tell myself!) LOL



    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Inky.


    I guess I’ve never really considered this question before. I guess I’m not too concerned about what my legacy will be and I don’t expect I’ll ever be, when I have departed this mortal coil everything I have done will have been in the past and will no longer be of any use to me when my number is up.

    It’s the same with funeral arrangements – I’m not going to be around to see who did or didn’t turn up to the funeral, what song they played, what food the caterers served, what people wore…I’m nobody important so I can’t imagine having an elaborate service. I’m not saying I’m nobody important to be negative about myself, I’m just stating a known fact – in the grand scheme of things I am nobody important – I am just like everybody else, not greater than, not less than. People have acted really shocked when I have said this before – “OMG Why do you say that? You shouldn’t say things like that!” or “You’re so negative! You’re so morbid!” I actually don’t mind – I actually think that thinking I’m nobody important is quite humbling and liberating. It reminds you that life is short so do what you can to have the most amazing life you possibly can.

    That’s not to say I don’t fear death because I do, but that’s a discussion for another time…

    I guess some of the things I will leave behind will be my art – maybe my art will finally achieve widespread fame and recognition after my death, and my paintings will sell for millions! Who can tell? Maybe it will end up in galleries. Maybe it will end up stored in an archive somewhere. Maybe just stored in a cardboard box up in somebodies attic. Maybe it will end up tossed in a landfill site. Maybe my art-related exploits will have been documented in books. I like to think that maybe I will have inspired a few people along the way with my art, or when I have landed a few more teaching gigs. I like to think that I may have made someone laugh with my stupid snarky sense of humour and made their day.

    Whether or not I achieve recognition after I’m gone, it’s not important to me and I am okay with it. I am okay with the thought that I will be long gone and forgotten about centuries from now. If I have started a chain reaction of inspiring people to do even one artsy thing in their lives, that’s good enough for me.

    But as for the funeral arrangements, I have a strict dress code – strictly come as you are, I was never one for formal wear. Jeans and tshirts are a must. As for the headstone and subsequent obituaries, I just want “Joe Was Here”. As one final act of rebelliousness and defiance, I am going to leave my entire estate and worldly possessions to the cats home.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Joe.

    Thanks Anita , Inky and J. Your responses are appreciated now by me at this point in time. In some small way, we have impacted each others’ lives here on Tiny Buddha. I was thinking about this the other day. Sometimes I will have a flashback of an incident that happened 40 years ago and I will suddenly remember a person from the past, I hadn’t thought of for a while. All those interactions from the past have more significance than we think. Every tiny interaction is woven into the fabric of our unique lives. Then we all truly become, works of art.


    No problem jock! Thanks for bringing this topic up, this was a very thought-provoking subject which made my earlier walk to Ikea all the more enjoyable! I was also thinking about affecting other people in a positive way – even if we don’t always receive credit or recognition for it, we are always still bringing about change and impacting on other peoples lives.


    I want to be remembered in some small way by everyone I meet. I know…a very unrealistic idea, but one that I’ve always held dear. I make a point of being there for as many people as I can, family, friends, even strangers. I want to make an impact, however small, in the lives of others. I want to be the kind stranger that smiled at someone having a bad day and made it just a bit more bearable. I want to be the friend that offered to help clean up the accidental mess someone else made. I want to be that person who stands up to bullies. It’s something I live by I suppose. Both compassion, and the neverending desire to be remembered in a positive way by the people I stumble across in life 🙂


    I’ve heard this question before, but always the answer that comes back from within me is that I don’t really mind not leaving a legacy, I don’t mind not being remembered. So many of us live such anonymous lives. After a mere 100 years, or less, my own grandchildren or their children won’t even remember me… and I don’t mind that.


    This question may seem narcissistic to some people but I believe there is no shame in admitting we all have a small streak of wanting to stay in the flotsam and jetsam of other people’s memories. It is only a small part of us. The “little me” as Tolle calls it or ego, which is so terrified of anhialation. The spiritual observer part of us can notice such a thought and choose not to identify with it.

    Yean Thoong

    I have many pals who believed my legacy from impacting many lives, will be continued by my kin.

    I would rather not burden that idea onto my future kin or loved ones. Their life is their own ‘legacy’ (whatever they want to do with it).

    Personally, I do not really bother about the idea of it at first. Because to me, I am only being compassionate because I know what it is like to not receive it from the bullies in my past.

    Seeing laughter, smiles and the emittance of joy of those who I have helped, fills me with joy and for some who told me, I gave them hope (that itself, encouraged me to continue doing so).

    But as time goes by, it is true that whatever we do will be forgotten someday.

    For the most part to me, it is, what kind of impact you have left on the hearts of those whom you have met and have interacted with.

    I suppose my legacy is being as another living proof as a really, really compassionate person towards all kinds of life: fellow humans, animals, plants and spirits.

    Although, I am not perfect, at least I am helping others out more than condemning others and causing trouble.

    I hope that my research and archiving of our potentials and capabilities of human beings, will prove useful to those who have forgotten our natural capability to continuously evolve (physically, mentally and spiritually).

    Along with information on our brethren from the spiritual realm, in which many of our ancestors (not forefathers) have made contact with them, interacted and worked with them.

    Along with the archives of mythical and legendary beings and creatures that used to be among us. This info will help to remind and rekindle the fire (of living passionately and glee) in many lives. My heart and soul was brought back to live and joy when I found out the European dragon I saw as a kid, was not of my imagination. I then discussed this with my close friend after a very long while since I last saw him, he too happily and excitedly squealed along with me when he told me that he saw a white dragon in the sky when he was working oversea.

    I dare say, there is more to this World and this Universe, than any of us can even imagine.

    We think we know everything, but that is not the case. When we are presented with new experiences and meetings, will one stay in their comfort zones and stick to their cognitive dissonance?

    Or learn to embrace the new and moving on from the old ways of thinking and doing?

    Additionally, I am also very proud to say that I am not the only one who is doing this little project.

    Well, I suppose I hope to inspire others to dare.

    Dare to adventure (explore), dare to love, dare to live, dare to challenge oneself, dare to evolve (improve) oneself, dare to learn (from mistakes), dare to investigate (be curious and discover), dare to embrace one’s strengths, dare to admit one’s mistakes, fears and darkness (only then we can move on to the next step, dealing with it), etc.

    For the moment we do these things, only then we can give it or spread it to another.

    Ah boy, I must have blabbered away again… XD

    Anyway, I don’t think about it so much but whatever I am going to do, it will not only impact my life, it is bound to impact the lives of others too.

    I will live true to myself and through pleasurable and painful experiences now and ahead of me.

    I do not bother if I am forgotten, I care the most about the well-being of those who are receiving my help, assistance or company.

    And I am very thankful that, that itself was being given back to me when I least expect it. That inspired to me continue my little adventure and journey.

    I’d say, thanks for taking the time to start this forum/discussion.


    Thanks for your post. I’m sorry I haven’t given you my own answer. The truth is I fear I will be forgotten. I suspect my passing will not impact anyone much really. If I depart before my partner, she will miss me initially but realities will soon force her to face up to her new future without me. I think she may have some happy memories of us balanced with less happy ones. She will not miss my sarcasm, I know that.
    My family live interstate and we haven’t been close for ages. Life will go on. I didn’t impact them much at all.
    I have no kids and my dog has a very short memory. 🙂
    But as I said before, this is “little scared me”. It’s only a part of me.


    Oh and so seriously speaking, my legacy will be:
    “Jock had a nice nature deep down but we didn’t often see it. He helped contribute to a happy small family with partner and dog. His was not a life of outstanding achievement but he was able to create a small ripple of love in his immediate environment, most of the time.”


    Dear jock

    I enjoyed all your posts on this thread. Here is one sentence you wrote that stands out: “Every tiny interaction is woven into the fabric of our unique lives. Then we all truly become, works of art.” I don’t remember many interactions I had with people because many enforced my painful core beliefs about myself (through accurate or inaccurate projections) and many interactions happened when I was spaced out, not truly present.

    It happens I was present through interactions with you here on tiny buddha and those interactions were indeed woven into the fabric of my life, using your words. True, my interactions with you were integrated into my brain and are now part of my brain, my life. And I don’t mean in a small way.

    In your last post you wrote that “Jock had a nice nature deep down but we didn’t often see it”-

    I say: “Jock has a loving and lovable nature and I see it!”

    You wrote: “His was not a life of outstanding achievement but he was able to create a small ripple of love in his immediate environment”

    I say: “Jock promoted and encouraged my understanding that I, me and myself do not have to achieve googable outstanding achievements to feel and experience worth and meaning in my life. Jock helped me understand that I am enough, good enough, wise enough, as is.”

    Thank you for a great thread! One of your very best, if not the best!



    Praise the Buddha! Long live all sentient beings on this thread! Thanks anita! Your support has helped me so much!

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by jock.
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