Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Ask anyone of your family about your great grandparent's life and I bet you'll draw a blank. No details available with the possible exception - if there is a family tree somewhere - of the life span, profession and the indication where these people lived.
These great grandparents from you and me must have been born between 1890 and 1900. By all means that is not so very long ago. Nevertheless, I don't have the faintest idea what mine did. I asked my wife about hers, same answer.
I can't help thinking that's a sad state of affairs. We are not animals who vanish without trace. All these previous generations could read and write, there was paper and ink, even writing machines.
Hundred years have passed and it looks to us as if they have never lived.
To illustrate my point, I am only talking about those great grandparents. But it is absolutely sure, members of our family, yours and mine, lived somewhere when Christobal Columbus discovered America. They lived at the time of the Roman Empire, at the time of Christ and they must have been somewhere when Alexander The Great marched from Greece through Persia to India and died in Babylon.
I would have loved to know all those life stories, or at least some of them. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing.
These losses can't be made good. But at least you and me, we can do this: write down our own life story. Hundred pages or so, why not two hundred? Make copies, put it on CD-ROM, give it to your lawyer to be kept for 100 years. Who knows, maybe at that time it will be vastly interesting to the buggers living around 2110. If your text survives till then, it will be an icon, because unique. And will enter the National Library, I bet.
As to me, ay have already started some years ago. But then I stopped, because I discovered video games (Half-Life) and thought this more fun. It's a shame, ok. But the first twenty pages are on my hard disk and I wow to carry on.