When all is said and done we leave our loved ones, friends, extended family, counselors, mentors, teachers, and faint acquaintances with one thing — legacy. Legacies continue to move on through life long after we are physically gone, but the time until our legacy leaves this earth is a great variable. For historic figures one could say their legacies will never die and never be forgotten. For your shut-in neighbor next door, it’s hard to say. I speak, both as a shut-in (on occasion) and as a grieving daughter trying to figure out what’s left of her father. What’s his legacy? How does it affect me?
I was challenged recently towards my overall feelings for my father now that he has passed. Perhaps I had turned him into an idol who never did wrong and appeared super-human. (This was the suggestion of my opponent.) It struck me badly and I knew it wasn’t right.
I wasn’t delusional… my dad had no super powers, nor was he even ever PTA ‘dad of the month’ or anything in that vein. He was good and he was bad. Like all of us. But what I’m left with is the wonderful feeling of being part of his legacy. Humbly, I am now an intelligent woman taught in part by him (1/2 credit goes to mom) to be inquisitive, open-minded, self-reliant, creative, kind and strong. He brought great things to this world, but what I know best, is what he left with me. These are the things that I will carry with me in my legacy.
But this effect is not exclusive to our loved ones and closest friends. We leave little bits and pieces of ourselves with everyone we interact with.
Which brings me to the momentum of a legacy. It would seem the more people we get to know the better our chances of living on for all eternity (deep down isn’t this something everyone kind of wants? To be remembered.)
However, I think the key lies much more in variety. Two examples:
- If you continue to meet the same ‘types’ of people you leave yourself closed off, entrapped by your own legacy within this group of people.
- However, when we treat a scared child with generosity (or love or trust) your legacy changes. It shifts gears. It moves faster. It begins to swirl around a bit more and gain powerful dynamic. Afterall a dynamic legacy is a lasting one! It can take on a life of its own; and before you know it you’re making history (if that’s what you desire).
Travel grants you incredible chances to build momentum, leave behind a trail of influence. The number of people is not as important as the vast opportunity variety brings. Equally as important (worthy of its own blog post) is to gain messages from others. Learn their stories. Build their legacies. Realize the connection everyone has in this task!
I’m not sure we’re all trying to change the course of history, but we all can relate to a longing for life. Heck we plan our lives months (and years) in advance depending on the presence of life in us.
99% of people would probably say death is it, the end, you’re done here and we’re beyond earth (in some way, whatever your beliefs).
However, if you could ask those same people whether or not that sounds satisfactory… what do you think they might say? What would you say? Are you okay with death being the end of your existence? If you left no trace of your life behind would you be okay with that? Leaving no mark on humanity in any way? If we don’t leave anything behind, did we even ever exist? (You all know the tree metaphor I’m thinking of so I won’t repeat it here.)
This topic is very complex, and I don’t mean to delve too deep into morbid “death” talk on this blog, but there is a lot we can do NOW, right now, to build the momentum of our legacy. To feel more fulfilled. And ultimately, satisfied with what we’ve done so far. I will be exploring this further in an upcomng post.
So now, what will you do with your new opportunities to connect on the road and build the momentum of your legacy? What can you do right now?