On my breaks at work from the Crystal shop, I enjoy going on walks down by the Fox River. There is a park on a little island in the Fox, which is a rather quaint and charming stroll through shady oaks, fresh cut grass, and city planted gardening. Today on my walk, I crossed the bridge to get onto the island, as I do many times. But this time something made me stop and think.
On the bridge was a bronzed plaque with the name of the Bridge. It was named after a specific person, first and last name, and unfortunately I cannot remember the exact name, but this bronze plaque was named after someone for a reason.
It stopped and made me think, Who was this person? What did they do to get their name on a bridge? There are many objects with bronze plaques on them, benches, schools, buildings, even a whole walk of fame in Hollywood. There are memerable names: Rockefeller, Columbus, Trump, Edison . All of people who I particularity question their morals. These men were forward-thinkers, and while they did contribute to society, it was their greed and ruthlessness that got them fame and fortune.
Many people are driven by ego. The ego to succeed and become better than everyone else. The ego to win. We prize having our names go down in history, imprinted throughout the ages in bronze plaques. Remember me, I was someone.
We are so caught up in our egos that we focus on building a tangible proof of our existence rather than letting our legacy spread on through our actions. Did we bring good into this world? Did we live a life that was full of love? Did we try and change it, to make it a better place? Activists such as Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Goodall, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama may not have had the intention to live on throughout history, but their actions of love, peace, and equality have given them immortality.
We may not reach such a global impact as them, but focusing on these actions of love instead of ego can allow us to let go of that desire and insecurity of needing to be recognized by society and future generations. Instead, we are filled with peace and happiness, knowing that our actions will live on instead.
So they can keep their bronze plaques, because my heart is full of gold.