“According to a recent survey, (ex-)colleagues forget about you within 2 and a half days after you leave a company.”
That’s a reasonable paraphrase of a line I heard in the TV show Saving Hope a few weeks ago. And it’s right on, if not overly generous: From what I have seen, the vast majority of people are forgotten the day after they have left, no matter how dedicated they were to their jobs. Except, of course, for ruthless bosses, who are remembered in much the same way people remember serial killers. And quite honestly, there is probably a fair comparison to be made between the axe wielding of both . . . another time . . .
But the Saving Hope episode did remind me — and no doubt, many others — that workers are tools of company owners, and when the tools are no longer needed, they are put away in some old tool box and forgotten.
It also reminded me that the camaraderie of workplace relationships is most often of the fair weather nature, and that once you walk out the revolving door for the last time, those “friendships” are over — with exceptions, of course: Some people do form genuine friendships with co-workers that survive afterward.
This is not a lament, incidentally. It’s a microcosmic and macrocosmic reality check, because it is a reflection of the bigger picture. Billions of people have come and gone, as if they were never here at all. Only a few are remembered for either their outstanding contributions that still touch our lives or for the horrors they wrought that have left some or all of mankind wounded and scarred.
Yet even they will be forgotten in time. Just as it has been for the passed members of the human race, everything that we feel is relevant and important today will be mere dust in the proverbial wind, until the wind itself is no more.
And one day, of course, darkness will fall upon the face of the earth again, and it will be as if Earth had never been here at all.
“Here” . . . What does that word mean?
A dream, perchance . . . Such is the temporary nature of reality.
Some would call it an illusion, and say that the immortal essence in each of us chose to embody and experience the sensory wonders of the material plane, much like when we dropped acid (LSD) in a certain age and tripped out in strawberry fields . . . “Nothing is real/ Nothing to get hung about . . .” Indeed, perhaps life on Earth is just a series of flashbacks, and we are all tripping out under a tree somewhere in another space in time.
And there I go getting all metaphysical. Funny how one line from a TV show inspired this. But then again, it is the season for metaphysical wanderings . . .
If I have made you feel gloomy, perhaps this will lift your spirit — with emphasis on the word “spirit”: To quote Voltaire, “it is no more surprising to live twice than it is to live once.”
Which means, there will plenty of other jobs, plenty of time to feel like an important brick in the wall, plenty of time to be forgotten over and over again . . . until this long day in the life of the Universe transitions into night and sleep . . .
As above, so below.
Or perhaps we are all asleep within the womb of the universe now, dreaming, and awaiting the dawn of a new universal day.
Such is the mystery.
But we mustn’t be afraid. We must trust the nature of things.
Since many believe our afterlife consists of the memories in those we leave behind, our afterlife may be short indeed.