what verse are you going to contribute?

This essay is an excerpt from The Way of The Karma Yogi , my new book.

In the movie Dead Poets Society, there’s a scene in which John Keating (played by Robin Williams), an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry, talks to his students about the meaning of life.

He quotes from Walt Whitman’s poem, Oh Me Oh Life, “Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: That you are here — that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

These lines basically convey the message that life is like a play and each of us who experiences it gets to contribute a verse. Keating then asks his students, “What will your verse be?” The verse that we contribute to this ongoing play of life is our legacy.

As Jim Rohn said, “All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. I truly believe that part of what makes us good and honorable people is having a foundational part of our lives based on the goal of leaving a legacy.”