Everyone would like to be glorified in death. Gilgamesh, Achilles, Jeshua of Nazareth, Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon Bonaparte, all of the great figures in history wanted to leave such a mark that history itself would be subsequently shaped by their actions. And for all of the above cases, they succeeded. And while the first two have become legends in dead mythologies, the others persist as part of the history that makes our lexicon understandable.
But what if that wasn't an option?
Few people become legends, and some legends are more known than others, Lord Horatio Nelson gets marginally better press than Mad Jack Churchill, and Catherine the Great and Cleopatra can be compared on many different levels, but even among legends there are those who are greater still, whose personal bang will echo longer in history than others. So what about the flip side?
Adolf Hitler will probably be the most memorable person for the next 500 years. His infamy will eclipse the good works of 100,000,000,000 good men, which is a tragic truth. But stepping back, I bet people can name more serial killers than Congressional Medal of Honor Winners. I bet people can name more serial killers than they can name Nobel Laureates.
The thing is, people can name more Nobel Laureates than they can name Wal-Mart Managers. And there are more Wal-Mart Managers than Nobel winners by a wide margin. The vast majority of people will be forgotten, but in an effort to avoid being forgotten, how terrible a person are you willing to be?
So, if you could not die a hero, saint, or visionary... would you in death prefer to be anonymous, or infamous?
Comment and share, I would actually like some activity.
|"I just miss - I miss being anonymous." -President Obama|