A legacy more lasting than children

Rod Espinosa, comic book artist and writer, shared these thoughts via the GINK Facebook page:

I believe human beings are special not because we can reproduce — all animals do that. Human beings are special because we can propagate not just our genes, but our very thoughts and philosophies. We can leave a piece of ourselves behind in the form of our ideas. Our children are the books we write, the organizations we found, and the buildings we put up.

Passing on genes is one thing, but leaving a legacy behind is entirely another. We can leave a definite stamp in human history that far exceeds that of mere reproduction. After all, nobody will remember you three generations removed. But if you were Jane Austen, you’d be remembered for eternity. Tom, Dick, and Harry’s progeny mean nothing to me, but the ideas of Homer, the achievements of Catherine the Great, the monuments of Ramses II, the speeches of Lincoln — those shape not just my thoughts, but the thoughts of millions.

So do I choose to make a difference in three lives or 3 million? I choose to leave a lasting legacy behind.

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2 responses to “A legacy more lasting than children

  1. Thing is, lots of men have children AND leave a lasting legacy of ideas (of course, you usually have to be a crappy husband and father to do that.) For women it’s much harder to do both these things, thanks a little bit to biology and a lot to society.

  2. That is absolutely true, Psycrat. A lot of men in history books were very bad or absentee fathers.

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