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VACANCY AND LEGACY; AN EXISTENTIAL TRAVESTY by VALENTINE CHIGBU

PREAMBLE:



Anthropologically justified is the evident declaration that inherent in the human being is the 'possibility spark'. This averment is well buttressed in the classical works of philosophers of great repute. Peculiar among these philosophers is the German existential philosopher, Martin Heidegger who pierced the clouds of despondency in his classical work, "Being and Time". In the pages of this work, Heidegger reinstated the degree of possibility in the human being when he described 'Dasein' as a being thrown into the world. A being that projects itself and looks at the possibilities in the world and in turn utilizes them in its actualization. Thus, conceived within this precinct, one can without any tincture of equivocation assert with specificity that the human being is a being endowed with a 'possibility spark'. This possibility spark in the human being mirrors the "homo quaerens" attribute (searching man). In essence, the human being is always searching for a better life. The human being craves for wealth, power, authority and recognition. In a nutshell, the human being craves for Legacy. However, a cryptic problem arises when legacy is being misrepresented for vacancy, thus, brewing an existential travesty. In lieu of this travesty, there is need for an critical conspectus of these concepts with an eye on the question: how legacious is a legacy?


VACANCIOUS LEGACY


Apodictic is the position that the human being is endowed with the possibility spark that mirrors the homo quaerensial attribute as a being that craves for Legacy. Succinctly put, leaving a legacy is the dream of every being conscious of the death reality. This syntagmatic relationship between death and legacy prepares a landing ground for the assertion: "one's departure on earth either leaves a legacy or vacancy".


However, my subjective position is that most legacies are more 'vacancious' than 'legacious'. This stems from the conviction that most synonymous usage of legacy and bequest by some scholars is more of an existential travesty. Bequest otherwise called legacy is "the act of bequeathing or leaving by will". This myopic understanding of legacy is just an inexhaustive facet of various exhaustive facets of the legacy philosophy. Brandon Lee and Billy Graham unveiled an exhaustive facet of legacy in their interrelated view of the concept. While Brandon Lee was of the view that " Immortality is to live your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind", Billy Graham poses an ethical aspect of the concept in his position that "the greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith". A more humane approach is clearly noted by the legacy philosophy in the thoughts of these renowned scholars. The aforesaid therefore, alludes to the prototypical view of the concept in question. The position of Brandon Lee and Billy Graham is implied in the fact that there is more to legacy than "leaving by will"; a conception of legacy that cows its exponents to the ravenous potholes of vacancious legacy.


Furthermore, the craving for global recognition and economic power are the footprints of vacancious legacy. This springs from the experiential conviction that the above craving have evoked more abysmal failure, objectification of person, thingfication of life and the dehumanization of human dignity, than global emancipation. Added to this abysmal failure is the fact that the employment of unethical strategies in economy war is not in the scope of the legacy philosophy. Thus, the production of a virus that causes a pandemic is not legacy inspired but a vacancious legacy. The unreasonable exploitation of ecology in the pursuit of economy is not a legacy mission but that of vacancy. It might appear to be a legacy but appearance most times is not reality. In essence, such actions are mere craves for economic power and global recognition and not a legacy inspired mission.

The legacy philosophy is 'meta' to all forms of vacancy. It knocks out the vacancious legacy idea. In essence, the legacy philosophy which has been reflected upon intends inspiring young minds to embark on an introspective voyage with the intention of making a reexamination of the travesty existing between legacy and vacancy. Suffice it then to say that one can leave a legacy in the real sense of it after a life sojourn. One can also leave a vacancy in a legacy clothing but the nagging question remains: how legacious is the legacy ?

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