The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What we do in life echoes through eternity (warning: personal)

So, here is one for the soft-hearted.

We spend so much of our lives striving to contribute permanently, and constructively, to the world in which we live. Trying to leave our legacy. Seeking to avoid being that breeze that comes and goes, forgotten forever.

I don't know why, but when I was a kid I would go to the library in the pre-Internet days and sit for hours reading through the micro-fiche searching for newspaper articles on my Dad. I was so proud of what he had achieved, and loved reading about it. Some of my fondest moments were when a person said to me, “Your father's a genius”, or some such. And some of the sadder times were when they needlessly sniped.

I was thinking about this tonight. About the way that I have spent my time since I left university. About what has propelled me in my endeavours.

And then I walked over to my wife and told her that, when you think about it, while the 'marks' we can bequeath might be meaningful, our most important legacy is our child. He will be our most substantial contribution to the generations that succeed us, our most direct ability to reach into the future and positively influence time.

Our children, be they adopted or genetic, are our most significant responsibility. It is hard to 'get' this until you bring one into your life. Until you look into their unassuming little eyes, and realise that they are like a blank-disk, eagerly awaiting to be imprinted with our values, experiences, beliefs and biases.

And then I understood, perhaps for the first time, why Dad has over the years said to me, “Son, you kids are our greatest achievement.”

He reads my blog, and I wanted to record my understanding of this for his benefit, and express my love and appreciation for everything he and mum have done for me. They created us, and we project them.

While I am not monotheistic in the traditional sense, I would describe myself as spiritual in the absence of alternative explanations.

I try--hard as it sometimes is--not to believe in fate, or to rationalise ex post facto why things have happened to me.

Nevertheless, as I was walking from our room to my computer to bash this note out (all my posts are bashed!), I passed the television.

And on it Russell Crowe was uttering those immortal words, “What we do in life echoes through eternity.”