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Topic: What's a Serendipitous Inconsequential Life Mean?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2013, 11:21 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No disrespect to RangerSven, but his post got me to thinking...

A lot of people feel their lives need to have meaning...they need to impact or better society, to leave some sort or legacy, or experience life to the fullest.

I've decided to follow a slightly different course.  Yes, I would like people be remembered in a positive way, but I realize a few generations from now, no one will recognize my name, and I'm OK with that.

A long time ago, I stopped signing peak registers.  I climb for pleasure, not to have my name recorded on a list.  I do my part to make the world better, but I don’t brag about it or expect any acknowledgement.

You might compare it to “leave no trace” camping.  I think there’s something to be said for living for the moment, accepting the joy that life brings, and quietly passing into the next life without making a lot of ripples in the water.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 26 2013, 11:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It means I'm having a great ****ing time!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 12:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does leave no trace include descendants?  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 12:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It means my teenage years...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 2:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Living in the moment is the key.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 7:14 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ol-zeke @ Jun. 26 2013, 10:09 pm)
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Does leave no trace include descendants?  

In my case in includes two, so I leave the world population in the same shape as I found it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 9:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most religions preach living in the moment - of course the holy books were written before Twitter and the world hinged on my choice of bacon on my breakfast plate.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 1:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm just a blessed idiot stumbling through life. There was a time I was good at what I did. Anymore I just try to be a decent human being.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The inconsequential part is easy.   That's 99.999% of all lives lived.

Thinking about that -- we (or is it our ego) put way too much weight and burden onto our own lives.    :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 2:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sometimes I don't live in the moment in preparation for a moment in the future that will be more awesome than that previous moment.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 4:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Methinks that would be epic awesomeness
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(Marmotstew @ Jun. 27 2013, 2:18 pm)
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Sometimes I don't live in the moment in preparation for a moment in the future that will be more awesome than that previous moment.

Dang, a pretty impressive response involving both the nature of serendipity and one's own interpretation of inconsequential or consequential living. Sounds like the next backpacking adventure that might be the best ever to only oneself and something we all can relate to.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 26 2013, 11:21 pm)
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No disrespect to RangerSven, but his post got me to thinking...
I think there’s something to be said for living for the moment, accepting the joy that life brings, and quietly passing into the next life without making a lot of ripples in the water.

Well said. Most of the people that I have great respect for lived their lives that way and would be utterly astonished at the impact they made on others, ie John Muir.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 27 2013, 10:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 26 2013, 9:21 pm)
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No disrespect to RangerSven, but his post got me to thinking...

A lot of people feel their lives need to have meaning...they need to impact or better society, to leave some sort or legacy, or experience life to the fullest.

I've decided to follow a slightly different course.  Yes, I would like people be remembered in a positive way, but I realize a few generations from now, no one will recognize my name, and I'm OK with that.

A long time ago, I stopped signing peak registers.  I climb for pleasure, not to have my name recorded on a list.  I do my part to make the world better, but I don’t brag about it or expect any acknowledgement.

You might compare it to “leave no trace” camping.  I think there’s something to be said for living for the moment, accepting the joy that life brings, and quietly passing into the next life without making a lot of ripples in the water.



+ whatever, it's inconsequential.

As long as my children/stepchildren keep telling the stories to my Grandchildren about the time we hid under the pine trees for 2 hours until the hail went away. How I had to dive into Island Lk in the Winds after my son fell in off a steep ledge, and rescue him, and loosing my sunglasses in the process. How a HUGE trout literally dragged my daughter into a lake in the Winds and I had to wade in and grab her. Car camping in the Snowy Range, Flattops,Zirkels;  rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon, Estes Park, Vedauwoo, the Big Thomson, Shelf Rd, Wild Iris, The Sinks,etc.

That's enough of a legacy for me .

I already have gotten to see my name in print in several rock climbing guide books for "first ascents", some of the most serendipitous things I've done in my life.

If all I leave on this planet is a few chicken scratchings at an archived website where people actually carried everything they need on there back from place to place, than so be it.

At the least, Lamebeaver has benefited from one of my random adventures to a certain lake, but that's a secret.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't presume the things I do will have great consequences for good. But they could have great consequences for harm. I don't presume anything I do deserves some award or famed legacy. But I do believe the things I do can have consequences that are not good at all. I don't go through life thinking everything I do, no matter how reckless or inconsiderate, will always turn out okay in other people's lives.

That homeless bag lady on a rundown street may strike me as odd. But I don't laugh. Laughing at others can have consequences. So I may say a simple and respectful greeting to her. But that is not because I consider my actions of great merit. They are not. And no one will engrave a golden plaque to my altruism or write a tribute to my legacy. But I do consider that laughing at her could have harmful consequences to her life. Conversely, saying a kind word may brighten her day. Human actions, my actions, have consequences. And while few may have great merit, many can cause lasting harm.

LNT is hardly a serendipitous approach to the backcountry or to life. Rather than ignoring the consequences of our decisions, LNT asks us to consider those consequences carefully — not because we expect public recognition or famed legacy but rather because we don't wish to do harm. So no, I do not live my life in careless, serendipitous manner — expecting good luck to cancel the harm my actions could cause.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldn't expect any of us to condone living a carefree (selfish) life, ignoring the consequences of our actions.

Rather, I was promoting the idea of living a simple quiet life, instead of trying to leave your mark on the world.
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(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 28 2013, 8:42 am)
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I wouldn't expect any of us to condone living a carefree (selfish) life, ignoring the consequences of our actions.

Rather, I was promoting the idea of living a simple quiet life, instead of trying to leave your mark on the world.

I can certainly appreciate and respect that. But I would not use the word "serendipitous" to describe it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 1:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess "inconsequential" is in the eyes of the beholder.

My father lived what he considered to be a pretty inconsequential life.  But his life choices had HUGE consequences for me and for my children.

I never knew my grandparents.  I have no memory of them at all.  But now that I'm in my 6th decade I am studying their lives and I have come to understand and to appreciate that I stand on their shoulders.  Their choices had significant consequences for me.  And so it is for their parents, grandparents, and so on back 6 or more generations.  No one stands alone.  And I'm convinced no one's life is "inconsequential."
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(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 28 2013, 10:42 am)
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Rather, I was promoting the idea of living a simple quiet life, instead of trying to leave your mark on the world.

I'm of the view that's its impossible NOT "to leave your mark on the world."

I think we ALL leave multiple marks on the world, and not leaving marks is beyond our control and believe any effort to do so is an illusion.   I believe in free will, so I think we probably have at least some control of the nature of many of the marks we leave on the world.
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(swimswithtrout @ Jun. 27 2013, 10:05 pm)
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I already have gotten to see my name in print in several rock climbing guide books for "first ascents", some of the most serendipitous things I've done in my life.

To me,  the outcome of your ascents was hardly a matter of luck or good fortune.  I'm quite sure they took a lot of planning and then a lot of hard work to accomplish.  So to me the outcomes of your ascents were anything but lucky or fortunate.  Or have I misuderstood?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 28 2013, 4:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you leave a mark on the world, then that's all well and good.  I think SWT would agree that he climbed for the pure joy and challenge of doing so, not to get is name in a book somewhere.

It's good to have goals, but I think it's more important to enjoy the journey, to take pleasure in simple things, to not get hung up on superficial things.

We all like to think we are unique and special, but we live, struggle, love, and die and for most of us, our names and accomplishments will not mean anything a dozen generations in the future.
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I'm special. And unique. I can write my name with my boobs.
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(Lamebeaver @ Jun. 28 2013, 4:47 pm)
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If you leave a mark on the world, then that's all well and good.  

I guess that's where we differ.  I don't think there's an "if" about it.  I'm convinced we ALL leave many marks on the world.

QUOTE
I think SWT would agree that he climbed for the pure joy and challenge of doing so, not to get is name in a book somewhere.
Agreed.  Nevertheless, the outcome of  his climbing was not serendipitous.  The outcome was dependent on a lot of planning and lot of very hard work, not on luck or good fortune.  As for his "mark on the world", it may or may not have been affected by his climbing.  I tend to think it was, but even if it was not, I'm very confident that many other aspects of SWTs life have left a significant mark on the world.

QUOTE
It's good to have goals, but I think it's more important to enjoy the journey, to take pleasure in simple things, to not get hung up on superficial things.
Agreed.  And I believe that anyone who travels life journey, ESPECIALLY those who enjoy that journey, will leave a mark on the world.

QUOTE
We all like to think we are unique and special, but we live, struggle, love, and die and for most of us, our names and accomplishments will not mean anything a dozen generations in the future.
Depends on what you mean by "our names and accomplishments will not mean anything a dozen generations in the future."  Our names may not be in some book or worldly record.  But I believe our journey through life will set up ripples that will leave a mark on countless generations of people, especially those related to us.  I for example never knew my grandparents, not even their first name.  Never mind my grandparents' great grandparents.  But after studying their lives I have come to see how I am standing on their shoulders and what a huge impact they have had on my life.  I'm beginning to understand why some religions have ancestor worship.  

Ever see an episode of Who do you think you are? That's a TV show where a celebrity goes on a journey of discovery into his ancestry.  These completely "forgotten" people from several generations ago who lived "inconsequential" lives are shown to have had a HUGE impact on the life of the celebrity.  And countless other people as well.  Their "inconsequential" lives sent ripples across the nation and across time that left all sorts of marks on all sorts of people across multiple generations.  No one stands alone.  And no one travels through life without leaving footprints and without stirring ripples that spread through multiple generations.  Whether their names and deeds are preserved in some book or other human record is beside the point.  Their lives had very long term consequences.
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(KenV @ Jun. 28 2013, 2:04 pm)
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(swimswithtrout @ Jun. 27 2013, 10:05 pm)
QUOTE
I already have gotten to see my name in print in several rock climbing guide books for "first ascents", some of the most serendipitous things I've done in my life.


To me,  the outcome of your ascents was hardly a matter of luck or good fortune.  I'm quite sure they took a lot of planning and then a lot of hard work to accomplish.  So to me the outcomes of your ascents were anything but lucky or fortunate.  


Nope, you're totally wrong !!

"Back in the day", the mid 70's, new routes/ first "free" ascents were a dime a dozen.

If my climbing partner and I walked up to a route that was in our guide book and somebody was already on it, we'd just climb the next available crack.

Most times is was a glorious failure, but on some random days, the stars wold align and would be a perfect ascent.

There was nothing planned, premeditated, trained for etc. about the climbs, we just "Went With The Flow"....

It's impossible to even contemplate past/future when you're 500' up a vertical wall, on an unclimbed route, and your last piece of protection is 30' below you, meaning a 60' fall.

It's all about living in the moment to the extreme !

I was "shocked and awed" 25 yrs later, while randomly looking at some newer guidebooks to see my name start cropping up.

How it got there I have no clue. Kind of like THIS THREAD


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(swimswithtrout @ Jun. 28 2013, 10:27 pm)
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It's impossible to even contemplate past/future when you're 500' up a vertical wall, on an unclimbed route, and your last piece of protection is 30' below you, meaning a 60' fall.

It's all about living in the moment to the extreme !

I was "shocked and awed" 25 yrs later, while randomly looking at some newer guidebooks to see my name start cropping up.

How it got there I have no clue. Kind of like THIS THREAD

The outcome was indeed wonderfully serendipitous.  Mia culpa.  Maybe inconsequential too.

But I doubt your life will end up being inconsequential.  Personally, I don't think that's possible.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 29 2013, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Right now somewhere in the universe carbon-14 is decaying into nitrogen-14. Inconsequential! Or is it?

Rumi


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It took me a while to decide to write this.  

My grandparents lived serendipitous, inconsequential lives.  Both sets were sharecroppers.  Tenant farmers.  They rarely had more than subsistence lives.  They were the richest people I've ever known.

Both grand-pairs had five children.  And the children had children, and they were always surrounded with love.  As their children's lives improved so did my grands.

Yet, my grands didn't change.  They lived as they always had.  Simple, close to the earth.  Humble.  Inconsequential.

I miss them.  I miss their honesty.


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Rather than a mark on the world it might be better to think in terms of a mark on one's own life. Instead of a mark on the world or one's own life it might be better to think of enriching the world and one's own life.

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(TDale @ Jun. 29 2013, 5:58 pm)
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. . . My grandparents lived serendipitous, inconsequential lives.  Both sets were sharecroppers.  Tenant farmers.  They rarely had more than subsistence lives.  They were the richest people I've ever known. . . .

My ancestors all the way up to my grandparents settled the frontier and homesteaded their ways across America, beginning over 350 years ago. Generation by generation, they were farmers. I am quite familiar with many of their lives for two reasons:
    1) because my grandparents and great grandparents lived well into their 90's. And I especially knew my grandmother very well, and she had kept careful records of many of those ancestors.
    2) Because some of my ancestors, however poor their fortunes upon the frontier, were themselves descended from famous families in Virginia, and my genealogy is well documented even down to records of financial ruin associated with climate destroying crops.
Those ancestors occasionally had good luck but definitely had a hefty share of bad luck also — as anyone who lived off the land in those days would know.

So by definition, those ancestors' lives were not "serendipitous," because they were not marked exclusively or even predominantly by good fortune, favorable happenstance, or fortuitous luck. And that is what serendipitous implies.

Serendipity defined: "the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this." Or here:
"1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for."

Whether "inconsequential" or not is a different question. But the word "serendipitous"  is simply out of place. It sounds as if farmers on the frontier lived like Mary Poppins or some such myth — dancing through life, clicking their heels, and singing pretty melodies for children way too naive to understand the sobering facts of life.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 30 2013, 1:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Serendipitoud inconsequential ... In the context of Lamebeaver's original post I think both words apply.  He wrote:
QUOTE
I think there’s something to be said for living for the moment, accepting the joy that life brings, and quietly passing into the next life without making a lot of ripples in the water.


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» Quick Reply What's a Serendipitous Inconsequential Life Mean?
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