by Johnny Punish
So many of us want a “legacy” or to be “remembered.” Why? Most everyone is afraid of death, right?
Well not everyone. To quote the prolific director and comedian Woody Allen, he once said “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” I know, I know, it’s funny….but truly not everyone is afraid of death. But most of us are, right?
I mean, we like the idea that after our death we will continue to “live on”. Maybe we hope our souls live on through the memories of our children and future descendants? And now, with the advent of the digital age, maybe we want our data, videos, images, writings, or even our music to live on and on creating our “legacy” always available to be searched!
Recently I wrote and recorded a song called “Mister Fadeaway” that explores this subject matter. It asks the question
“Do you think you’ll be in the Jesus Christ category, a man who is still remembered after 2000 years or will you be forgotten completely within 100, 200, or 1000 years?
It helps me deal with the fact that I am insignificant, that, in the biggest picture, I am a Mister Fadeaway.
Yeah, in the past, if we wanted to be remembered, we would carve our words and marks into stone; a top choice for millions of years, right? Stone lasts a long time. Heck, we have carvings from back over 4000 years and, thus, we can revive a lost soul from the dead. It’s pretty cool.
But now, digital promises a long shelf life too and it can be much more specific. And, as we all know, the new digital tech is still in just the beginning stages. So who knows what the world will have for humanity in 100 or 200 years? I mean, Johnny Punish might end up being famous in the year 2222 for some “Mister Fadeaway” song I did back in 2022 right?
Let’s face the facts! 99.9% of us will NOT be remembered, period!
We are all Mister Fadeways.
We simply cannot control whether our work will be remembered after we die. And not only that but why do we care? We will already be dead — so we cannot reap any benefits of our legacy. So what’s with this weird desire? Why do we want to be remembered?
Some say it’s our ego, and sense of self-importance. We think we are the most important individual in the universe. In this light, everyone should remember our greatness, our influence, and the work that we’ve done. But the downside of wanting to leave a legacy is that it adds a lot of stress, anxiety, and frustration to our lives. It distracts us. Rather than focusing on our meaningful work, we seek to win awards, and accolades from our peers, and to be written in history books. Not only that, but it makes us a slave to the opinions of others. We can lose some of our personal freedom trying to please others. Is it worth it?
I mean, what if we lived a life where we didn’t care about whether we were remembered or not? Who cares what others think? What if we were satisfied to just do the best work we can do in our lifetimes and not worry whether anyone remembers us or our work?
Like most, I have always had a huge ego; well at least in my earlier life. Like most, I wanted to be remembered too and leave a legacy. But something faded in my 40s and by my 50s, it’s gone, gone, gone. I don’t care about this weird human need anymore.
What is important for me is to help people today. I start with my wife and kids. And, when I have the energy, spirit, and strength, I reach out further as far as I can. Sometimes, I am in a bad spot and can barely get myself up to live. On those days, I just let it go. But mostly, I can do the work to help those who have less experience and need that brotherly push forward. Why Not?
What good is my money, time, or experience if I just hoard it for a rainy day only to find that said rainy day is my own demise?
Nah, I will do the best possible work now. I don’t worry about a future legacy. But if others want to elevate me to Jesus Christ status in some weird future, maybe by 3122, go for it! So if you want to label me Mister Fadeaway? Please do! I mean, the Vegas money says it’s a cinch domino, a 99.9% win! Bet on it!
And you? Are you also a Mister Fadeaway? I am putting mad money on it!
Mister Fadeaway on;