If I sum my life what measure could I glean?
Would I be like the man who measures his worth through the achievements of his son?
So that when a son does not fulfil his expectations he is destroyed and glum beyond measure. Isn't that just foolishness.
However isn't it true that to live you life through the lives of others is not a shameful thing to do. For after all isn't that what Politics is, in essence, all about? To some politics might be a dirty word, but in essence it is to exert influence further than your immediate reach. To enable men as a body to come together to achieve greater things than they could alone. Is that not the essence of what it means to be a real man?
Isn't that what Plato meant when he said that man is not truly a man until he lives in a Polis? To which man did Plato refer, the collective or the singular man? For each man is two such men, one public and the other private.
Whilst singly the best a man can achieve is bare survival, a public man living through the lives of others can accomplish much through such influence.
However isn't it true that no matter whichever man he is, all men will one fateful day face their final destiny singly and alone. And that therefore they can never face the summation of their lives through the lives of others, just as they cannot be accompanied through death. These are facts that all men should confront before their actualisation within themselves.
However I believe that there is a way in which such a man can face that eventuality through the lives of others. And that is when the influence such a man has exerted has not been for selfish ends. The best of which is when you enable others to realise their own unselfish and true nature. A passing of the baton that your successor might also act with the same interest and intent. And then the summation of your life might become an integration over a continuum.
How great our religion which taught us these essences in referring to Sadaqa al Jareeah; the continuous and ongoing Charities. That my self and my sum can be gleaned from those unselfish acts.
We started on this tract of thought by contemplating a man who seeks to live on, and achieve, through his children.
The difference between the two is that the latter influences those others through choice and not through compulsion.
And we neglected the first's brother who measures his life through the number of cattle that he possesses? Trinkets that he toys with. He will surely die. And his measure will be dire.
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