Born to be forgotten

I find that it is not always easy to accept that I will not accomplish anything in my lifetime that will merit being remembered or taught to future generations. I will not make a major scientific breakthrough, I will not come up with a revolutionary contribution to philosophy, I will not invent a new technology that will change society, I will not be the best at anything in particular.

My contribution to the world will come in tiny chunks, and they will include both small successes that might have made some people’s life slightly better, but also mistakes that may have caused pain and suffering. And there is nothing special about this, I can only imagine that this might also be true for billions of other humans. We are living regular lives that will be quickly forgotten after one, two or three generations.

Why would this be important? It does not have to be, I can see how you can definitely find happiness elsewhere, but it turns out that this is something that seems to matter to me. Not from a rational perspective, but more like a gut feeling. I cannot avoid it, at least not at the moment.

This is not meant to be a justification for inaction. Just a realistic prediction that is not always easy to swallow. It makes me think of Albert Camus and the absurdity of life, where despite recognizing that absurdity, we cannot avoid but just keep living as if it wasn’t.

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