I guess we’d all like to leave our mark on this Earth. To scratch a line on the cave wall. An echo for when we are gone.
There are many ways we can do this: through kindness, humanity, charitable works, medicine, discovery, science, exploration, politics, building, designing, gardening, poetry, art, music, drama, books, writing in all its forms. If you make other people’s lives better, happier or richer, or you influence them for the good or the different in some way, then you leave an echo. If something you did inspires something in them, then you leave an echo.
Iain Banks did it. The Wasp Factory gave me a visceral thrill as a reader. He has left us a powerful echo in his books.
Teachers do it all the time. A wonderful lady called Valerie did it for me. She unfolded the beauty of language, listening to me read Gerard Manley Hopkins and talking with me about how his writing worked. She was kind, gentle, intelligent. She died suddenly, in her late twenties, while she was my teacher. But I can picture her now: vividly. She left an echo.
I’d love to know about a teacher who left an echo with you.