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About History Books

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.
William H. Gass

Last night, something special happened in the Land Down Under. An event that would mark the history books for some time at the very least within the world of tennis. Indeed, after 5 hours and 34 minutes of intense competition, history was written during the 2022 Australian Open. On January 30, 2022, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal became the first tennis player in history to win 21 Grand Slams, overcoming Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Those three men have inspired an entire generation of tennis and sports fans to aim higher and never give up, through their ethics, mentality and dedication to make it to the top.

Whether they intended to do so or not, they have changed a part of the world.

We all want to change the world, one way or another. At least this is what each one of us told themselves at some point in life. This usually happens when we discover motivational speakers and videos at the beginning of our teenage years, in a general-case scenario. It becomes our greatest aspiration to find a way to change the world in such a way that everyone will get to know our name, long after we leave this world behind. Even centuries later, people would learn about us and research what he did just like we talk about research people in the likes of Nikola Tesla, Nelson Mandela, and George Sand. This is the fascination when it comes to human nature, is it not?

We try so hard to make an impact during this limited time frame we have on this planet. The thought of being forgotten so quickly after we are gone frightens us, and rightly so. Particularly in this day and age, where we are surrounded by people who get their special chapter in the history books, in perspective to the field that made them famous. It could be politics, sociology, philosophy, math, physics, art, music, sports, movies, or other things. Furthermore, we find ourselves submerged by the presence of famous people through the exposure they get on social media for the things they do and say on an almost daily basis. Some are remembered for all the right reasons, whereas there are others who get their reputation elevated for all the wrong ones. We are often told that this is the secret to living forever, because as long as someone says our name, we never really die.

Once that idea sinks in our minds, it becomes like an indirect obsession in our everyday lives. We try so hard to make things so that people will remember us. We want to leave an impact and some trace that we were here, like our lives mattered. We are afraid of being forgotten. We are terrified that if we disappeared tomorrow, the universe would not even notice. That will probably be the case, due to how small and insignificant in this infinitely-expanding universe.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to do the best one can in a lifetime, especially if it benefits the world and sets a precedent for better things to come. Such an approach is even easier nowadays with the use of technology and social media, since the access to one’s achievements and key events are kept and traced in an improved manner, making it accessible to a bigger audience in a fraction of a second. However, there is an interesting point that needs to be raised: fame and remembrance usually tend to happen after the person has gone to the other side.

“Après tout, la voix se perd mais les mots sont vivants.”
Beau Malheur by Emmanuel Moire

If we look at some of the most famous and notorious people within their respective fields, we realise that they were often misunderstood for their work and ideas when they were alive. The importance, fame and recognition society gave them came once their work was discovered after those people had died. Considered today as one of the greatest artists to have ever walked on this Earth, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh spent his entire life thinking he was a failure. Adding insult to injury, he was unable to sell a single painting during his livelihood. Today, experts analyse his works of art and perceive the genius behind his methods and techniques, may it be from an artistic or sometimes even scientific point of view, as it was elaborated in the mathematical explanation of his most famous painting Starry Night.

Whether you believe it or not, we are all changing the world in our own way, one day at a time. It might not be printed and broadcasted on all social media platforms nor on the front page of newspapers, however I can tell you it is shown on the most beautiful and powerful of support surfaces: the human heart. Our actions, our thoughts, our words affect the people immediately around us. We might not know it then – and in most cases, we never will -, but we bring a unique added value to society, to the way things are, to the beauty of the world we live in.

With the right approach to life, we are never forgotten.
With the right people and the right mentality, we will continue to live on even after our time has come.
Therefore I beg you. Do not give up on yourself.
Keep pushing for what you believe in, for what you love.
At the very least, you will have lived an extraordinary life that only you could have come up with.
And that will surely be a story worth telling.

“One day you will leave this world behind. So live a life you will remember.”
The Nights by Avicii


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