This Pickles cartoon shows Grampa Earl telling his one and only grandson that he’s his legacy to the world. “You’re all that I’ll leave behind after I’m gone to prove that I was here.” Wow, that’s a big burden to lay on a little kid!
This is actually an example of Dr. Ernest Becker’s Terror Management Theory, which says we’re terrified of death and look for concrete and philosophical ways to achieve immortality. Having children is one way to achieve this legacy, as Earl’s statement indicates.
UPDATE: The theme continued the next day, with his grandson talking to Grandma Opal about what Grampa Earl had said. “Grampa said I’m his legacy. He said I’ll be his gift to the world when he’s gone. That’s why he’s been teaching me everything he knows.”
The kicker: “I’m glad it didn’t take very long.” Ouch!