How important is the past to you?
Is everything that was…all that happened…just mere history…dinosaur doings?
Do you subscribe to the notion that nothing that is old is worth knowing and that only the new – the bright and shiny – is valuable?
Frankly, this week I became obsessed with this notion as the company I work for left its office space of 87 years and moved.
Truth is, our building has been outdated for years – as it was built not just in a different era (obviously), but for a different use – it had been designed for doctors and dentists in office suites – in fact, I remember many years ago finding old X-rays in a back closet.
To be fair – when I first entered the building in 1976, its usage state and efficiency quotient were not in my thoughts.
Honestly, I was awed, overwhelmed, intimidated by the sheer energy and power that radiated from the place…to me it was a mecca…I was drawn to it like a magnet. It was the only place I wanted to be.
Yet as time passed and needs changed and changed again and again – as we realized that the structure itself could not support our growth and the future as we envisioned it – we decided to move, and move we did.
All of which leads me to the notion of legacy…the past and the future.
My loyal readers know that I have no patience and little respect for people who throw out the past…who claim to learn nothing from what was…who put little or no value (at least publicly) on bringing the knowledge and wisdom of preceding generations to bear on their doings…who posture that what they do is ex nihilo – sprung out of their fertile creativity – new and unsullied by the ancients.
Needless to say their vision of the future is equally flawed – as they assume that they will not fall into the “long-ago” category, as what they are creating is forever….
By the way – I love the way the retro style in fashion and design plays to that audience…another Ramble perhaps….but a joke nevertheless.
So here I am, obsessed with legacy…excited by my new digs…wondering what they will mean 87 years hence….
And then I read the following…listen:
“We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.” Paul Tsongas
We are a continuum…I love that thought. We are on a journey that has no end…we are a product of the past that was and the future that will be…legacy is not a stagnant pool of water…legacy is not an artifact in a museum or a historical oddity….
Legacy is a living and breathing thing. Legacy is what we build on and pass on to the next generation and the next…we learn and create seamlessly…changing and molding and evolving and transforming as we grow and move on….
Without Gutenberg there would be no Internet…understand that and you get my view of legacy.
If you think of Gutenberg as analog and us as digital, you are limiting what we can achieve…as many do.
But if you think of Gutenberg as the revolution of widespread sharing and the resultant desire for knowledge – and the Internet as a logical and critical step in that revolution – then the possibilities are endless and go way beyond the next gamification strategy to make a few investors rich.
This week begins our next cycle – we will continue to build our legacy as I hope 87 years from now our successors will as well.
Legacy is yours and yours alone – make it so….
What do you think?