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Being remembered

  1. Sep 13, 2003 #1
    it seems like there's a lot of importance placed on making your mark on the world and being remembered. why is that? why does it matter to people sooo much? why does how we affect the future world effect us so much?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2003 #2
    Being remembered has nothing to do with affecting the future. ;)
  4. Sep 13, 2003 #3


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    Some people view it as a sort of immortality. If you go down in the history books, then in some sense you never die.

    But I agree with you, to me the idea holds no significance. After all, if you're not there to witness it, what's the point? And likewise, if we do remain conscious in some sense after death, then what's the point of 'immortality' through being remembered? I think it's just an extension of people's egos. But if there's any valuable lesson to be learned in life, it's that the ego is just the tip of the existential iceberg.
  5. Sep 13, 2003 #4
    actually, i'm guilty of wanting a legacy. since i was young i'd always say things like, 'remember my name, it'll be famous someday' and 'no matter what i do, i'll be in the textbooks' and i was always certain that 'one day, i'll have my very own special on the biography channel'

    i've stopped worrying about the future as much, but i still have this desire to make stong impacts on people and be memorable. i want to influence everyone i can in same way shape or form. i don't know why. i suppose i might feeli have something to offer, and as such, i want to share it with everyone... but that could just be me trying to justify my desire to be important or unforgetable.
  6. Sep 14, 2003 #5
    Not to mean to hurt anyone, I've always seen desire to get immortalised as a means to compare d.ck length. Its a kind of measure of importance of ones contribution. Irony is that almost everyone immortalised has reached that postumely.

    It requires some very subtle attitude balance to realise and be happy with your own contribution without ever being credited. Desire to contribute to humanity is certainly healthy desire. Its the desire to "be someone important" that creates a conflict. And its probably result of environmental nurture.

    Your thoughts of youth weren't too bad, you've setup to yourself a target. Maybe, if you work 100 times as much as you do, you'd even fulfill your 'promise'. But don't expect to benefit in your lifetime, and you'll find enormous resources tied up in this desire that could be used to reach your goal instead.
  7. Sep 14, 2003 #6
    It is a part of human nature, Gale. This can be seen by the fact that it hasn't been eliminated by cultural evolution.

    Back in the days of the ancient Egyptians, people believed that if a person's name never ceased to be used, then that person would never cease to exist. Thus the "true" name of Ra, the greatest of all the gods (for example), was never known; because, if any mortal man ever knew Ra's true name, then they would have control over the greatest of the gods! Also, there are many cases of a new Pharoah vandalising the toom of his predecessor, so that the name of that predecessor was forever forgotten (which meant that his spirit couldn't haunt the new successor, since you don't exist if your name perishes).

    Anyway, it may have changed in form, due to cultural evolution, but the basic concept will probably never die. It is a part of our nature.
  8. Sep 14, 2003 #7


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    That has got to be the stupidest comment I have ever heard. Do you suppose if no one had remembered slavery in this country the world would not be any different than it currently is? Being remembered has EVERYTHING to do with the future. Timothy McVeigh will be remembered. BinLaden will be remembered. Get the picture? They say that fish have such a short memory that they can be caught twice on a hook within a minute. Do you suppose a better memory would affect their future?

    I believe gale's question: "why does how we affect the future world effect us so much?" can be summed up in one word. That word is EGO.

    It is interesting to look at in another way though. Take for instance Elvis. One could almost think that at the time of his fame he was feeding off of a type of energy coming back into his time from the future. That energy would be all of the hubub that exists TODAY with Elvis. Not likely though, just a stupid thought of mine. It still comes down to cause and affect. One won't exist without the other.
  9. Sep 15, 2003 #8
    It is simply a way of saying "I am!" and having someone actually notice it.
  10. Sep 15, 2003 #9
    We all want to die thinking that our presence on this planet made a difference. It is one of our innate instincts, closely associated with procreation. Without those two instincts, evolution would not have worked and the human society would have collapsed because no one would be interested in improving it.
  11. Sep 15, 2003 #10
    Ok, i suppose that if it is an innate instinct, then that answers my original question well enough. but improving society? is that some innate charictaristic of being human? I don't know if people really caring about improving things so much as just changing it, for better or worse. just making some difference in one way or another.

    i think the best answer so far is just EGO. i just can't understand ego i suppose. why would certain things (like being remembered: EGO) matter to us at all?
  12. Sep 15, 2003 #11
    Most of you probably don't have children, but those of you who do will understand that our children are our greatest legacy. They are in our own image, and carry on our likeness for all time, generation after generation. You can become famous, and make discoveries, and be remembered, but nothing is a greater reminder to the world than your own likeness reborn
  13. Sep 16, 2003 #12
    Ego is our immediate gain from helping to improve things: you do it cause it makes you feel good about yourself. But I also beleive that we evolved specifically in such a way that our ego demands that we work to improve society. Thus while to the individual ego is a very personal source of pleasure, on the evolutionary scale it is a tool for improving society.
  14. Sep 17, 2003 #13
    I'll bet many people have somewhat grandious dreams in youth that they've forgot about or lost all hope in but grow afraid or too tired to go back to it, after all most of us are going to end up in jobs we never really wanted to do or planned on and that's real life, it's the hard and cynical view but it's mostly true all a person can really do in this world is dream and try and enjoy the
    journey whether they catch a dream or not, in the end enjoyment
    of the journey and the little things are really more important and most of it is what other people want you to believe so they can sell something and suit their own gains because it's an unforgiving world where the selfish and manipulative feed of the innocent. Besides most of our so called great thinkers looked on favorably today
    are long dead and were not looked on so favorably when alive.
    That's the secondary usage of communication with monkies, they leaned to decieve others for their own gains.
  15. Sep 18, 2003 #14
    gale....I was like you once.my greatest fear was being normal\average.
    so I did everything to avoid that by taking chances\risks.
    I was vary cool and led a (not boring life).
    I wanted my name to be remembered always.
    later as I got older, it became clear that the illusion of,the passing of time slowly eats away at the past, until all is forgotten.
    even the illusion.

    I say enjoy your life TODAY ,be the best gale you can be.
    Think of what you can be in the future,not how you will be remembered
    in the past.
  16. Sep 20, 2003 #15
    There is a good possibility that in some people the idea of being remembered is one that instills in them, presently, that the love that is/was 'out there' for them is/was/and "now (future) proven" real, and true.
    They want to be remembered as a part of the concept of imortallity that they hold within themselves.
    Personally, I wonder if it's funny or sad, as "being remembered" is not really something that can be forced, yet people still try to "force it". If it is in your life that you accomplish things that should make you memorable, then it'll probably just happen on it's own, as you are travelling down/up the pathway of your life.
    (P.S. And pleeeease remember the name of the person who wrote this! )
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