Thursday, March 19, 2009


In thinking of utility I return continually to the utility of my grandmother's life. She was born to relatively wealthy parents in an age when daughters inherited nothing and married well to an intellligent man with good prospects and yet she ended up a widow without wealth, uneducated.

She lived a long life and died quite suddenly of an acute surgical emergency without preceding debility: she took ill and died within hours. I think that if she had thought of it, it would have been her desired type of end: an independent life fully lived.

I hope that her later years were happy. She was a vibrant, forceful intelligent woman and I never had the impression that she was depressed or overwhelmed; I never had a sense of despair or desperation. And yet for all the joys of busy days with friends and family in beautiful and temperate country she has left no legacy.

Unless I AM a legacy.

I have no children. I am unlikely to have children. So, my legacy will have to be otherwise. And I do not have even an inkling of what that legacy could be. I have a keen appreciation of the how, but not even a glimmer of the what.

Do you have a sense of your potential legacy?

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