Of Death & Legacies

In my morning Meditation(s), I happened along this gem from Marcus Aurelius:

“You are not dissatisfied, I suppose, because, you weigh only so many pounds and not three hundred. Do not be dissatisfied then that you must live only so many years and not more; for as you are satisfied with the amount of substance that has been assigned to you, so be content with the time.” ~ Book VI #49

lemmy kilmister_fullmetaljacketradio

 

With 2015 having ended with the death of Motörhead mastermind Lemmy Kilmister and 2016 opening up with the death of the iconic David Bowie, followed shortly thereafter by the passing of the talented Alan Rickman, I found this passage a good reflection for today.

 

Today remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and everything his life stood for. The past few weeks have been vocal reflections on death and legacies – what each man stood for, how he affected the world and what the future looks like moving forward.

Martin Luther King, Jr. - FaithI stopped to realize that the changes that came about for our country happened as a result of Dr. King’s death. And that, wherever he is, knowing that made it worth it. While I make no comparisons between MLK and Jesus – well, none that should offend anyone with a quarter of a human soul – both figures made the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs, for a group of people. Each man gave literally everything that they had for the salvation of humanity.

I still remember when I first saw the following clip:

He knew what he meant, what his music meant, to the audience of adoring fans. This is reaching down into your soul to make a human connection. This was selflessness.

Trevor Leighton, 24 Jan. 1992

 

Look at Alan Rickman’s final role. As writer, Cassie DeLaney, notes, “The reason for the clip is a true testament to the kindness of [Alan Rickman’s] character.” This, again was selflessness. It was knowing a just cause and giving back what has been assigned to you in service to others.

 

David Bowie. Do I even have to Google and cite what his legacy has done for the world, for gender identification, for music, for pop culture, for asset-backed securities and, most recently, for astronomy? That short list should be enough. And again…it’s donating yourself to the service of others.

David Bowie_clashmusic

That  is a legacy. Giving of yourself so that others might live more fully. Some mistake legacy for bloodline, and in some cases that might be true; but you don’t have to bear children that run billion dollar empires, or win sports championships to leave a legacy. You just have to remember: this is ‘US’ not ‘ME’

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