Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make Your Mark

It’s rare to find someone content with passing through life quietly.  Most people want to leave behind a legacy–some sort of proof they were here and their life mattered.  The character Brooks in Stephen King’s "Shawshank Redemption" comes to mind. After serving more than 40 years in prison an elderly Brooks is paroled, but can’t seem to make it in the real world. He takes his own life, but before doing so he feels he must make his mark on the world by scrawling “Brooks was here” on the wall. 
Yes, making our mark seems to be so very important to humans.
Today it seems we have many different ways to make our mark just to say, “Hey!  I’m here.” These are ways that can be argued as being negative or positive depending on your point of view. We have vanity plates for our cars; people earn a particular status for what they do or say, and for what they wear. People become notable just for being on a reality show, we can have a blog, a website, and it’s not totally lost on me that we make our mark by having a Facebook profile. We can even make our mark anonymously by donating to charity, working behind the scenes for a needy family, or even invent a screen name to post anonymously on a message board. 

Making a mark on the world could simply involve raising your children to be contributing members of society to carry on the family name, leaving behind a business that continues to grow and prosper, voting, or perhaps you simply make your mark by showing you owned something.
Claiming things seems to be very important to humans no matter what type of person, place, thing, or idea we want to focus on.
You can read the rest of my column over at Douglasville Patch.

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