The Real Reason to Keep a Diary

We have all heard of journaling as a form of self-reflection, putting down our thoughts to reflect on the day gone by or expressing gratitude to welcome the day to come. But have you ever considered keeping a diary to document your life for future generations? This is something I decided to do when I realised that after leaving this earth, that’ll be it, I’ll be gone forever. Just dust among the stars. The only trace or proof that I was once a living, breathing thing would be in the faces or genes of my children and their children (and hopefully also in their values and teachings). If I don’t get to live out my dreams and make a mark on the world, at least I’ll pass on my wisdom, knowledge and life story to my children, grandchildren, their children and so forth.

With my journal in the palm of their hands, they’ll have at their disposal a wealth of knowledge and advice, they’ll be able to take whatever they want from it and allow it to nurture them into living a life more fulfilled than mine ever was or could be. On the other hand, even with all this wisdom to teach them what to do and what not to do (without imposing of course), they could still find themselves being diverted off course and heading for a cliff. This could be a good thing, for the only road that leads to success is one which passes the path of trial and error. Making mistakes is the only way to get better, right? So then, what would be the point of all the foresight?

Here’s another scenario. What if I don’t have children? Then my diary can still be studied. We’re talking hundreds of years from now when people look back to our generation and ponder upon it. In the future, researchers or historians will want to find out everything they can about our way of life. Since we’re now at a stage where we are very technologically advanced, this shouldn’t be a problem. They’ll have plenty to document themselves with – photographs, films, digital archives, and so on. But a diary offers something more – a glimpse into a person’s inner world – their thoughts, hopes, struggles, pains and strengths. Assuming this artefact (or collection of artefacts) manages to survive for decades to come, and still remain intact, I would have left behind my legacy. Now I think that’s pretty cool.

Will you try this? Let me know in the comment section down below.

XO. Nina.


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