"Fame, Fortune and Legacy"

"Fame, Fortune and Legacy"

A Story by gudmike

We all ponder the meaning of life, why we are all here, what is our purpose and where are we going in life. What....does it all mean. This is my opinion, my belief, my story if you will on....life.


This writing, my writing....it is not a poem or a short story.
It is an observation, an opinion, a belief...my belief.

Just say, one day...in just one day a certain five people are born into this world.

The first grows to be an adult and becomes a famous actor.
The second grows to an adult and becomes a writer.
The third grows to be an adult and becomes a painter.
The fourth grows to be an adult and becomes a factory worker.
The fifth grows to be an adult and becomes a hardened criminal.

Five examples, five observations, five beliefs.....my beliefs.

The first person becomes a famous actor, loved for the characters they have portrayed. Some characters we loved and others we hated, but we remember them all. They all touched a certain spot in our emotions.

It is a well known, widely publicized and documented fact that this actor has very poor human relationships in the real world, for whatever reasons. We all have our own personal demons, and we deal with them in our own way, sometimes the results are good and sometimes they are bad.

The second person becomes a writer, perhaps famous like the actor, or perhaps just a small following, or some favored works were published in some way to endure time. To a writer if one person was touched, one persons emotions stirred, their soul touched if you will...this is fame beyond compare.

The third becomes a painter, this person pours out emotion onto the canvas in colors and shades that play havoc with the mind, and the imagination. The art produced by them draws people in, sometimes with wide eye and gaping jaw. They can relay any message they want, any way they want through one of the most alluring and respected forms of art. No two people may ever see the same thing in one work of art, while another could seem blatantly plain and obvious. There may still be a message, some hidden meaning behind the strokes of the brush.

The fourth person becomes a factory worker, unassuming and unknown...certainly not famous by any means of the word. This person lives a humble family life, goes to church, or just has faith in God or goodness itself. They are loved by family and friends for the kind words and deeds they do, the love and compassion they give to others.

The fifth becomes a hardened criminal for whatever reasons driven to this end, it is what they have become.

They have no true friends, nor do they wish to have any, no one is trusted and the world is their enemy. Their deeds have perhaps given them five minutes of fame on the TV news, but it is fleeting and forgotten. They will most likely spend most of their life in prison, if they are not killed in the course of one of their heinous crimes.

When the actor dies, they will be remembered through their work, the characters  they brought to life on the screen. The hero we loved or the villain we hated. They touched us with their wonderful gift, and made us feel alive in some fanciful way. The actors personal failure at human relationships will slip away with time, but the characters will live on forever.

When the writer dies, they will be remembered through their writing in more than one way. One way is through some form published work, which will continue to touch people for a very long time just as with the actor above. Also many writers not only put their own thoughts and feelings down on paper, but try to touch on the readers inner feelings, stirring emotions and thoughts from deep within them. This action by a writer can have a very powerful effect on the reader, and actually have an influence on the persons behavior in some way. It may make them stop and think about their personal life, choices they make or made. It may influence the way they perceive a personal issue, or effect how they look at, and treat others.

When the factory worker dies, they will be remembered through their family and friends. They may not have been a famous actor or a published writer except for maybe a birthday or Christmas card, perhaps a touching or consoling letter to a loved one or friend. No movies will bring them to mind, no published works will stir peoples emotions, yet still they will leave an astounding influence behind. They have left a mark on history and humanity perhaps equal to or greater than any of the others mentioned, maybe greater than any famous person.
With every kind act or word given, with every lesson in goodness they tried to teach their family, friends and strangers...they bestowed knowingly or unknowingly an influence that will live inside each of them and be passed down through history.

When the painter dies, they are remembered by any of their work that is left behind, saved, cherished and protected. Paintings can mean so many different things to so many different people, but most all agree that they are wondrous beautiful creations. The painter to me is like snow, they can paint hundreds maybe even thousands of paintings, which can vary like snowflakes, yet they are still snow. Their influence on a person can be profound. Imagine a world without them for a moment and feel the emptiness it brings. I think that painters are underrated, so often it seems one has to die to be recognized.

When the hardened criminal dies, they will be remembered not through acting, writing, painting or love and kindness. They will be remembered in any documented materials concerning their life of crime. They will be remembered through all the poor souls whose life was in some way touched and influenced by their criminal actions. Any young person seduced and corrupted into a life of crime by this person will bear the mark they left on humanity, like a scar. Their life a tragedy.

This writing, my writing....it is not a poem or a short story.

It is an observation, an opinion, a belief...my belief.

I titled this piece "Fame, Fortune and Legacy" and yet I made no real reference to fortune in any of the above examples. I did not mention fortune because it is usually connected in some way to riches, wealth and material possessions.

I believe that our lives are not about what material things we possess, or do not possess during our lifetime. Yes I do believe it is true that material possessions can make our lives easier to live, and perhaps more enjoyable. Also I believe we as a people are prone to put too much emphasis on them. Think for a moment of how many people you have read about, who have had an overabundance of money and material possessions, but were miserable in life.

Nobody is taking that Mercedes with them when they go, it will stay behind just as much as the Ford. We come into this world with nothing and we leave it with nothing is the old saying right.

But we DO leave something behind even when we have gone, and we DO take something with us also when we die. It is the gap that fills that space, you know the one where we come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing.

It is our deeds, our actions and all that they have influenced, in our lifetime and beyond it. All of the actions and reactions from birth till death, that we have caused. We all leave our mark on history and our influence on the future. Whether one believes in God or not, we all know right from wrong...good from evil.

Many things influence our lives but unlike other living things we have intellect, reasoning...the power of free will to choose how we deal with life, as it is given to us. Some things that we have to experience in life can be cruel, painful and unfair. We have the power to reach out for help in whatever form we need, one has but to open  ones eyes, heart and more often than not our mouth. We need to swallow our pride and ask for help, whenever and wherever we truly need it. I am not talking about that small percentage that are not capable of knowing these things, due to a mental illness, or those who cannot reach out for help in certain areas of the world do to oppression.

I believe that life is not about fame or fortune, but legacy, our legacy...what we as individual people leave behind, and the effect it has on all life that remains behind and it's future.

Life is about human legacy.


© 2010 gudmike

Author's Note

I can only say, review as you see fit within yourself to review this piece. I only ask that we try to temper any sarcasm, with a more constructive form of criticism.

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Added on October 6, 2010
Last Updated on October 7, 2010
Tags: life, meaning, humanity, mankind, god, existance, death, living, giving, legacy



Kingston, NY

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