The planet laughs at posts on social media, watching people invent a life that does not truly exist, focused on desires that haunt them. She knows that you will never be as famous, or leave a legacy as long as one of the sand dunes in Zion, a lava flow in Hawaii, a geyser in Yellowstone, or the layers of ancient stone that line the Grand Canyon.
And yet, this seems to be the goal of so many people, to create an illusory image that goes viral, relishing in a momentary stardom without foundation. Or perhaps promising that they can teach anyone to be rich and famous. Social media is flooded with offers for workshops and coaches teaching everyone how to live their “best life” (as if they know what that is), create a funnel to launch a million dollar business (even if they have not successfully done so) and guaranteeing a quick path to spiritual enlightenment. They promise everyone 15 minutes of fame.
And yet, driving through the southwest land of sandstone and basalt, of towering spires and deep canyons, I realize the pointlessness of reaching for fame. What legacy can I leave that will outlive the stories written in the stones? What brilliance can I share that will outshine the stunning minerals the earth creates with pressure and heat and time?
Life is ephemeral, and so is human fame. Legacies are wonderful aspirations and dreams, but can be buried by shifting sands and raging tides. Perhaps acknowledging this is the challenge and gift of being human, to live fully, love freely, share your gifts generously, all while knowing that the rocks and minerals and sea will outlive you.