We don’t matter… seriously.
You have eight great-grandparents. Eight lives.
Eight lives which your very existence depends upon.
Seriously, name them. Go ahead.
How many did you get? One? Two?
Eight lives were lived – entire lives – that happened… first steps, first day of school, birthday cakes, first kisses, first heartbreaks, careers, dreams, deaths, tragedies… Eight people’s existences occurred for which you would not even being reading this if it weren’t for them and the choices they made. Choices which they thought were extremely important. ‘Should I go out on this date? Is this the job I really want? Well, I’m stuck here now so I better make the best of it… ‘ These people lived their lives just as passionately and jaded as you have. Maybe more… and you can’t even NAME them. You can’t name them let alone tell one story from their life. One story for which they were so proud of. That one moment they were truly happy with themselves and the choices they made. One story about the most tragic moment of their life; where you could have ripped their heart from their chest and they would’ve felt less pain than they did that night.
That moment meant something to them. THAT moment defined them. THAT moment lead to you. And you have NO idea what it was.
You realize it happened a few short decades ago, right? A little over a hundred years is about where we’re talking about. A blink of an eye. Don’t think so?
Have you ever seen the movie, “Casablanca?” I know you’ve heard of it… but have you ever seen it? All the way through? Name the main character. No, not Humphrey Bogart, the leading lady. Can’t remember? It’s Ingrid Bergman. She was born in 1915 not long after your great grandparents were born that you can’t name. She was one of the top stars in Hollywood in the 1940’s. And she was arguably more “famous” than any other “pop star” whose fame happens to be peaking this month whose song you’re “obsessed with.”
Robin Williams just died. Robin freaking Williams. Dead. One of the most recognizable human beings of my generation and now he’s dead. A hundred years from now, maybe a handful of people will remember his name. Don’t believe me? “Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake…”
We don’t matter. Truly, we don’t matter. We didn’t matter a hundred years ago before we existed, and we won’t matter a hundred years from now after we’re gone. No one will remember your name. No one will know you put so much time into getting that report written for school that was going to make or break your grade. No one will care about how much time you spent on the spreadsheets your boss made you compile or how many hours of your life you gave up for that twenty-five-cent raise. You think anyone twenty years from now… no, I take that back… twenty MINUTES from now will care that you wore THAT shirt today? They don’t even know what COLOR it was!
You’re utterly insignificant.
…to you. You cared about that shirt, right? I know when I put my favorite shirt on it makes the tiniest bit of difference… to me. To them, it’s a worn-out, super thin grey NASA shirt… or something. But to me, it’s mine. It’s my shirt. And today, I’m wearing it. I’M wearing my favorite shirt TODAY. No one will give a shit tomorrow what shirt I wore today, but it feels great on me right now.
I cannot remember 1940 when Ingrid Bergman was one of the most “famous” people in the world… because I didn’t exist. I won’t remember the year 2114 because I will have long ago lived out my days. So, I guess the only time that matters is now. The only people who matter are the one’s who are alive now.
I KNOW! We should plan for our future for our children and their children’s children. That’s true. It’s very important. (Seriously.) The human race will not survive without our planning…
But I bet they won’t remember your name…