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Old 02-21-2017, 10:48 AM
 
676 posts, read 334,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
There doesn't! However, it can be comforting and pleasing when there is, at least for some of us. Perhaps it's simply egocentrism. Having been raised to believe I was stupid (an oft used word) and next to worthless I think I can be forgiven if I take a small sense of pride in what I see as some minor accomplishments. One - raising children reasonably well - was what I simply saw as my job as a parent. The others required a bit of a skill set.
I have little pride in my accomplishments, which by human standards are probably 'good' or something.

I think children turn out much as they would have regardless of parenting, unless we have done either an exceedingly stellar or horrific job of it.

I have come to the conclusion that we are a mostly delusional animal, pushed along by our genetic material that is a result of evolution.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,552 posts, read 47,768,430 times
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The leg I see I am leaving behind is my prosthetic one, so future descendants will be able to see and hold a piece of me.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:51 AM
 
676 posts, read 334,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
The leg I see I am leaving behind is my prosthetic one, so future descendants will be able to see and hold a piece of me.
But, it's not you. It has none of your genes.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:04 AM
 
519 posts, read 431,110 times
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For 99.999% of us our personal legacy will be remembered at best for a couple of generations. After that, lost for eternity.

So rather than focusing on one's legacy, it is far more important to concentrate on your positive contributions to the here and now.

At least that is how I see it: and, try to conduct my earthly affairs accordingly...
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:39 AM
 
6,287 posts, read 4,740,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwoman View Post
So you are equating living with accomplishing? I'm not sure I understand your point.

What difference does my life make to anyone other than my children? Well ... it probably makes a difference to my husband and sister. But, I fail to see why that matters to anyone but me.
I agree with you. You have chosen what is important to you. It seems that has not included choices which would make a significant difference to most others. I chose differently. My life has impacted a great many others. Some know it. Others, don't, but I have impacted them anyway. Hopefully in a very positive direction. Now that I am retired, I suppose my footprint on this world is much less than previously. I do continue to teach, lead by example, and communicate with my art, in addition to lectures and classes.


Again, I don't want to imply that everyone should make the same choices. There are no rules that define what we need to do with our brief stay on earth.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,455 posts, read 1,156,701 times
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My comments in blue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I can only wonder why you are even interested in making comments on this thread: "I just live and have neither pondered nor defined the purpose of my life. Maybe I should ask my mother since she gave birth to me".

Is "No or none" not an acceptable answer to the OP's questions? He/she did not specify that only positive answers were allowed.

This is a discussion forum where we can present, compare and contrast our POVs. If I don't think that it is universal for retirees wanting to leave a legacy or wake up everyday with defined lofty purposes, why shouldn't I present my views?

I have been following quite a few of threads in the caregiving forum where people our age are struggling with taking care of sick parents or a spouse. Some even have the double burden of facing their own illnesses. I'd bet to all of them, their daily 'purpose' is just to make it through the day, to meet the daily needs of themselves and their loved ones.

I visited my 91 years old mother last weekend. She has several health issues. I have no ideas how long that she will be around. She has done nothing noteworthy or brilliant in her life. Her life 'purpose' has always been just to take care of the family and now the garden and the dogs. I don't think she intends to leave any legacy. She gave away all the proceeds of selling their house to charities and the grandchildren. She gives away major portion of her current meager SS and tiny pension to poor relatives and charities. When my mother passes away, I doubt that anybody who knows her would have thought that she only lived at an animal levels and did not have a fulfilling, rich and 'purposeful' life. I don't think that my mother even know or think of the 'legacy' concept but when she passes away, the many responsible children and grand children she leaves behind, the improved life of many poor people which she had helped and even her beautiful and bountiful vegetables/flowes garden would be among her numerous wonderful unplanned legacies.

I have no doubts that my mother's life philosophy is not much different from mine even though through circumstances and luck I had appeared to accomplish more (2 B.S., a M.S, a Ph.D, numerous college courses in all subjects, many publications, patents, master scuba diver certificate, commercial pilot licence with instrument rating, read thousands of books, listened to thousands of records, CDs, traveled to almost all the continents, built a plane, dabbled in many DIYs project, got certitied as a level 2 US rowing coach, built up and managed my multi 7-figure portfolio, self-learned and self-taught many subject, mentored quite a few student pilots, taught/helped many rowers, served officer positions including being a president in a non-profit org, numerous volunteers projects/hours etc.). I did all of those things because I enjoyed learning and doing and not because I wake up with a purpose everyday or wanting to build up my legacies. BTW, I honestly think that my 'accomplisments' are trivial in comparison to what my mother has done with what she was given in life.

Why is that important to have life purposes, to desire to leave a legacy? Isn't our current daily fulfilling our responsibilities (to our family, to society) is enough? Is being happy, contented, not striving, not filling with angst not desirable in what is supposedly our golden age?


I suspect this thread might be of more interest to those who are interested in their purpose in life and what they leave behind. Far be it from me to try to convince you that your life has some meaning and purpose. You have already made your choices.

At our ages, our life has long been established. Our choices have been made long ago. I don't think that anybody can convince others to adopt their living philosophy especially with a superior, haughty, condescending overtone.

I am happy, contented and think that I have achieved my desired level of self actualization. I enjoy to continue learning, to set personal goals (be it to be a better cook, to scull as fast and as far as rowers twice my size and half my age, to learn to play an instrument etc.) without having to define my life purposes or think about my 'legacy'.


Last edited by BellaDL; 02-21-2017 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:52 AM
 
676 posts, read 334,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I agree with you. You have chosen what is important to you. It seems that has not included choices which would make a significant difference to most others. I chose differently. My life has impacted a great many others. Some know it. Others, don't, but I have impacted them anyway. Hopefully in a very positive direction. Now that I am retired, I suppose my footprint on this world is much less than previously. I do continue to teach, lead by example, and communicate with my art, in addition to lectures and classes.


Again, I don't want to imply that everyone should make the same choices. There are no rules that define what we need to do with our brief stay on earth.
I appreciate your stance. However, I would say that my choices probably have made a difference to many others. In other words, my life has probably impacted a great many others as well. It just doesn't seem to mean as much to me as it does to you.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,692 posts, read 4,725,286 times
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The problem I have is that when an acquaintance or friend dies, I think "Such wasted potential. Did they wish they had made more of their lives?"

Before you jump on me, I realize this is my problem. I think the above says more about me than them. I am not content to leave the world without doing more.

Recently an online friend got back into touch after a four year lapse. He wanted to thank me for having saved his life. What did I do to merit thanks? I gave him some information that turned out to be extremely useful and as a result of it the mysterious ailment that he says was killing him was diagnosed and cured. He now has his strength, health and life back.

I played a very small part in this and while I'm gratified he thought of me after all this time, conveying some needed information doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment. I am very glad he's back to full health, of course.

Over the years I've probably written in excess of 50,000 posts online. One made a difference, if small, in another person's life. This doesn't seem like a good return on the investment of my time.

I have other ideas for the use of my time and money in creating positive change but they are beyond the scope of this thread.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:17 PM
 
61 posts, read 30,616 times
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I want to thank the OP and everyone for their contributions to this thread, which have been extremely thought provoking to me.

So, the way I see it is this... I actually believe (maybe wrongly) that human civilization is and has been progressing through the years since the dawn of time. Whether we know it or not, each of us has had a role in maintaining that civilization and many have had roles in advancing civilization as well. I believe this is the collective legacy of human beings to the next generations. Every time we give our best without expecting a reward, we enhance the lives of those who will come after us without cost.

Being a part of this is more than enough for me. When we give of ourselves either as parents/family members or as workers/professionals we have played a small part in creating a great legacy for all.
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Old 02-21-2017, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,679 posts, read 3,250,875 times
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My legacy is I survived.
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