No Legacy

I cheated; I was married for 10 years but am now divorced. It was a hard marriage and it ground me down. No kids.

I worry about not leaving some kind of mark on the world. I will not live on in the memories of my children and grandchildren.

I teach high school, and hopefully will have some impact on the world. But sometimes I want more.

Does anyone else worry about not leaving a legacy?

simplekindofman simplekindofman
1 Response Dec 2, 2012

Simplekindofman, I hope someday you will see an rather obscure British film of the World War 2 era called "The Browning Version." I hope I remember the story It is about a school teacher, like yourself. The teacher is an aging man, forced to retire prematurely from an English 'Public' (to us Americans that means a private prep school), and discovers his wife was having an affair behind his back and is now leaving him. His students hate him because he is scholarly and pedantic. He is so unpopular the school administrators even want to deprive him of the opportunity to speak at the graduation ceremony, an honor always given to a senior retiring school teacher at that academy.

The situation is truly pathetic. Ridiculed, rejected, humiliated, and tormented. His wife publicly leaves him. Most of his students mock him. Facing unemployment and despair over his financial future, the teacher contemplates suicide. He has the feeling his whole life was a failure, he was worthless, was never appreciated. He meekly concedes to the school to go away quietly.

A single young student likes him. This student went out and bought him a rare vintage book as a parting gift ... a translation of classical Greek poetry by the poet Robert Browning. The students expresses heartfelt thanks to the teacher for inspiration to him and be such a positive influence. The teacher is greatly moved. He realizes his life was not worthless. The teacher marches back to the school administrators, and finding his voice and confidence, demands he be accorded the right to make his speech at the graduation.

meezkite - I liked your message. I've been teaching 12 years now and feel dedicated and am always trying to improve. I hope I am making an impression on them. Thanks for your support; made my day.

Now I am going to look up the word "pedantic."

pedantic - a narrow, stodgy, even ostentatious adherence to book learning and academic rules, concerned with formality and minutiae.

Teaching is one of the noblest professions.