Legacies

Posted: September 1, 2018 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , ,

Movies and media make us want to believe that our lives should be remembered. That legacies should be left for the next generations. 2014’s Book of Life (Fox Studios) and Disney*Pixar’s Coco (2018) touched upon these celebrations of remembrance. In Coco, touching  on the fact as well, that if not remembered one’s life legacy simply fades away. My daughter discovered Glee (Netflix and Public Library) and in season 5 they have a memorial episode for the actor, Cory Montieth, whose character Finn was mourned. The episode ends with Puck and the Coach at a memorial tree discussing the dates of a person’s life, but the line in the middle being the most important piece.

The line.

The most innocuous reminder of one’s life lived, the ups, the downs, the scraps, the victories, and the hope that the world is a little better off for one having lived here. The story lived out.

What I am reminded of this week at a mentor’s funeral, a 40 year Anglican priest, who asked his service not be religious. For life cannot be so easily classified…not secular or spiritual or religious or whatever label one chooses. Life is life lived. From music on the piano of a medley of favourite tunes (including lovely bunch of coconuts) to stories of a life challenged and challenging, of drawing the circle of belonging wider and what that meant in personal means.

Makes one wonder how lives will be remembered? How one’s own life will be remembered? As we attempt to create a memorial that suits what we are told is appropriate or within bounds, we lose the essence of the story lived. To a simple 8 page comic story in IDW’s 50th anniversary Star Trek collection, Waypoint (2018) (I encourage you to find a copy and read all the stories, even the rest of this one), but how these first few pages sum up the world’s view of legacy:

The Yeoman from this classic episode remembered only as the panels say, a dehydrated death…had so much more to be remembered for. Yet we have no control over our legacies. Will we be remembered for the tantrums? The arguments? The losses? The wins? The simple acts of kindness? The humanity we showed one another? The love spread? Or simply forgotten… like a red shirt on an away mission.

Simple words, from St. Paul written to a rather roughshod crowd of the ancient world. What do they mean for our lives lived today? How do we choose to remember those who have come before us? To remember ourselves and our contemporaries?

 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

-1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (English Standard Version)

Our lives are a collection of stories. What happens if we make love the centre of those stories? What happens when we choose a better world consciously each day.

Does the legacy of yourself change?

Or does it even matter any more?

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