If you’ve ever thought about the future, you may wonder what things will be like after you’ve gone and whether or not you’ll be remembered. Perhaps you’ve led an ordinary life, or perhaps you’ve achieved extraordinary things—but regardless of how you’ve lived, one thing’s for certain: almost everything you’ve lived for will one day be forgotten, and after a century from now, it’s unlikely that even your descendants will know much more about you than your name.
Your achievements of today create the foundation for those who come after, and the effects of what you have done and the way you chose to live your life will echo far on into the future, influencing the generations to come. For most of us, however, that legacy is an anonymous one. The sum total of all the works of your lifetime, the balance of your successes and your failures—in your public life, in your family life, and in your private life—all these will become indistinct as the years pass, and your part in the future of your family is likely to be unremembered. We no longer know what our great-grandparents experienced, fought for, struggled with, or achieved; we don’t know their tales – we don’t know them as real people but as characters from the past. Their legacy has faded along with their memory.
There’s only one way to prevent your story from disappearing from the Earth the moment you pass away—and that is to have it written down. Written stories are treasures, and they preserve a great deal of a person’s character for those who come after them. Read a book about a person from the past, and you can see through their eyes, sympathise with their thoughts and dreams, and see them as a true human being whose story still has relevance long after death.