We all think about legacies, what we’re leaving behind for our loved ones and even the strangers who come along after us. I was thinking about the mark I’ve probably left on people, and the legacy I’ve left in my wake. I’ve always wanted to be a rebel, a troublemaker — someone who made waves and stood up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. But I’ve always been kinda quiet, non-confrontational almost to my own detriment.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t still leave a mark, leave a legacy that makes me, my family, and the people who come after me proud to know that someone like me once existed. Though my actions, words, thoughts may be shallow inroads, every path must start somewhere right?
Professionally, I leave my mark on every piece of literature I touch. My suggestions and ideas are weighed, measured, and found sufficient for the work I choose to pursue. Like I said in an earlier post, I live in service to the stories, and Wes Craven’s mark will be the chilling tales he told us — sometimes sharing the very things that frightened and shocked him.
To expand upon Craven’s thought, people need literature that recognizes the lives people have. We worry, we doubt, we fear, and we love. All of these stories are being told every single day, across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, yes, even Reddit. Expression and storytelling — not that they weren’t before — are in the spotlight in a big way, because now your expression and storytelling can be reached by people who don’t even live in the same country as you. They can be reached by your family, perspective employers, and perfect strangers. Your expression can be published to your terms, your ideals, and you can likely find an audience who shares them!
Leaving your mark on society today has become so easy, even for the quiet and non-confrontational, that I fear some people might eventually take it for granted. It’s so easy to stake a claim on something, negate something else, and debate a whole other thing until the sun sets. All before the sun sets. You can piss off people on a whole other continent just as easily as ordering an ebook from Amazon, just as easily as sending a drunken and Autocorrected text, and probably even easier than contacting that unnamed Craigslist merchant via email to get your money back. It’s all a matter of the mark you choose to leave today.
FYI: Wes Craven spoke that quote in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) Documentary.