Stone monuments do not a legacy make
We pass this way briefly, and mostly ineffectually. Stone monuments are no legacy. The only meaningful legacy is the range of influences we leave behind.
Some of us will, before we depart, elevate the common good.
Some of us will benefit a smaller circle by our works, or perhaps by our mere presence while passing through the cosmos.
Others of us will leave a trail of pain and the flotsam of time misspent.
Still others will leave behind disaster to afflict all whose lives might intersect with theirs, most of whose faces they never see. The disaster-leavers are legion. Sometimes we know their names, and our history books detail their malfeasances. But mostly the wreckers are faceless, cloaked in anonymity inside the institutions whose masters they serve.
Sentient societies on our planet will be engaged for centuries, for millennia, perhaps forever, with the suffering bequeathed by the vandals.
We humans have much to atone for now, to repair the destruction, reverse the degradation and make things right.