The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Becoming A True Legend

on May 30, 2012

One of my favorite things about Tuesday nights this time of year is watching “Deadliest Catch.”  My husband got me hooked on this show a few years ago.  He loves it because he loves to watch the storms and the seas and all the manly men things that happen on a crab boat in the Bering Sea.  I love it because I am interested in the inter-personal relationships.  (I’m such a GIRL!)  No matter the reason it has become one of our family’s favorite shows. As I was watching last night, I couldn’t help but notice that one of the ship captains, a younger one, kept saying that he wants to be a legend.  He takes risks and pushes hard because he wants to be legendary in the Bering Sea. It got me to pondering…..what makes a legend?

Most people would like to be legends.  Probably because in order to be a legend, one has to be famous. Many of us are  legends in our own minds already anyway, so why not get the perk of being famous too?  Who wouldn’t enjoy having a fan base all of your own?  Who wouldn’t like to have people speak about you with awe in their voice?  Who wouldn’t like to give out autographs?  Who doesn’t want people talking about how incredible you were hundreds of years after you are dead? Isn’t that what being a legend is all about??

 According to trusty old Webster a legend is: a: a story coming down from the past especially one popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable. d: a person or thing that inspires.  A person or thing that inspires.  Now that may be a totally different thing from being famous. 

While famous people can be inspiring,  inspiring people are not always famous.  I ran across this Legends website while researching today.  It is interesting to me that while many of the people on the list are famous, there are still many of them who are not.  Their inventions are.  Their work is. Their names…eh…not so much.  Still they are listed among  “people who changed the way we live.”  They are legends, but many of them didn’t know it. They were just hard-working people. People who woke up every day and gave their best doing what they knew to do.   I might also note that some people who are famous are not very inspiring.  In fact some people are legends because they did the WRONG thing: does the name John Wilkes Booth ring a bell?  Not much of a positive or inspiring person, but he’s a legend!  So if you are only interested in being a legend does it matter? You’d still be famous.

Last night as I listened to the Bering Sea Captain speak about his desire to be a legend a thought popped in my head.  I wonder if people who are truly legends: ones who affect history for the better, ones who have a positive impact on those around them, ones who truly inspire others,  are worried about whether or not they are going to be legends. Or do you suppose they are just working hard at being the best they can be every day?  I’m guessing it’s the latter. To that end, I think it is possible for every person to become a legend: at least in their own circle of influence. 

I hope that is what that captain really meant.  Otherwise….he may just become the wrong kind of “legend.”

   Any guesses as to who this legendary inventor is??


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