I’m lucky enough to be a full-time employee at a county-funded institution. They take good care of us, and in return I like to thing we provide a valuable quality service. A few days ago, I was sent a reminder email that my insurance benefits needed annual renewal.
Nothing stirs the existential anxiety quite like renewing insurance benefits. There’s health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and life insurance. Paying money into these things begs the question: What happens if I get sick? What happens if I die? Obviously, my biggest concern is for those I love. The heartache and turmoil of those who depend on me for emotional and financial support. But also, what happens to my memory? What happens to my footprint?
It’s rather humbling to know that billions of people currently exist. Billions more have existed before us. And yet, we only remember a handful of them through the ages. As generations fade, we don’t remember even those in our bloodline. I know the name of my great grandfather… but I don’t know his hopes and dreams and fears. I don’t know if he was happy with his life, and what he did to cope if he wasn’t. I don’t know if he would be happy with where his lineage ended up… with a chubby man typing on a blog and eating Chewy Chips Ahoy cookies. Hmm, maybe it’s a good thing I opted-in for that life insurance.
You know what I’d like to see? An option for Legacy Insurance. I’d pay quite a bit of money to encapsulate whatever it is that makes the holistic me, and have it available to my progeny. A guarantee that your work in this life… the long nights, the stressful days, and the calloused hands… was worth something. That it benefited not only your children, but also your grandchildren. And their grandchildren. And so on. Insurance that, years from now when humanity is exploring the farthest depths of space in galaxies I can’t even begin to comprehend, they can look back at their Great Ancestor Billy and appreciate that he worked so hard to continue the family tree’s growth.
Yeah, I’d check that option. Legacy Insurance. It would come with an option for Domestic Partner, too. And if I click that option, it costs more money, but my descendants can also see how much my wife and I love each other. They’d appreciate the arguments we resolved, the pride we surrendered and the compromises we forged, in order to grow this family tree’s canopy. They’d know that their Great Ancestors cared for them before they were born… before they were even an idea.
I’m scrolling through the benefits page again. No Legacy Insurance. It makes sense, after all. We’re human beings. We mostly concern ourselves with the here and now. We’re a few steps in the future, a few steps in the past, but mostly planted firm in the present. I suppose that for now, my Legacy lives in whatever genes I’ve inherited and whatever values I pass down, no matter how they morph and adapt with the ever-shifting modern thought.
Still, it’s not a bad idea to consider.