I just finished reading John Green’s ‘An Abundance of Katherines’ and I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I also figured out the mattering thing Colin was going on about. I also had a ‘eureka!’ moment when I figured it out.
It happened in either the fifth or seventh month of our stay here in Cairo. I was watching the evening news and yet another story about Edward Snowden came up. I thought to myself, ‘How on earth had a NSA analyst become so widely talked about? I mean, here you have this low down dude, who leaked some high-up stuff onto the internet and now he’s all the news talks about.’ It’s quite amazing how the world media can go on and on and on about things.
Anyway, back to mattering. Let’s take the American Presidents. Each one goes down in history because he was the leader of the ‘free world’, but each is also remembered by something else he did. Washington was the first, Lincoln ended slavery, Kennedy was assassinated and Obama is the first black. Granted, they are high-up in the chain of people that will be remembered, but what about the low-end? Snowden is now famous (or infamous) as the person who leaked.
My theory is this; Normal people like you and me will be forgotten. It’s inevitable. We will remain in the thoughts of the people who were close to us and we will linger on social media, but that’s it. What we as normal plebs can do to be remembered needs to be spectacular. Something like writing literature like Shakespeare (please no) or making movies like Meryl Streep (although that would be difficult to achieve her level of accomplishments). That way we can remain somewhere in someone’s mind and then we won’t be forgotten.
Disclaimer: This is all very materialistic and quite frankly a bit depressing and pathetic, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. My father has achieved that and my mother is strongly on her way there whilst I sit here and write this blog.