Recently, a friend asked me what type of legacy I would want to leave for future generations. It was an unexpected question that really started my wheels turning. Usually when people pass away, there is a huge focus on the things they owned and who gets what, but the idea of handing down ideas and values was a totally new concept for me. I started thinking about the things my loved ones (those still living and those who have passed) have shared with me.
I thought back on my early years and the backyard parties my grandparents hosted during the summers. We played games, roasted hotdogs and listened to the elders tell stories from their childhood. They also reminded us how lucky we are to live in present times than when they were our age. Some things were passed on and taken to heart. These are the ones that I want to continue as part of my legacy.
My grandparents on both sides demonstrated deeply-held faith and never missed church on Sunday. To this day, at 95, my grandmother still enjoys Sunday morning church service, and she says it is the best place to start your week. I have fond memories of my grandfather repairing appliances for family members and not taking payment for the services, telling them that he would collect when they made it big one day.
I have vivid memories of all of these things. They have become a part of who I am, and I hope they will become part of future generations. Knowing the legacy I want to leave behind helps me stay focused on what I am doing in the present so that my goals are in line with that legacy. Planning the legacy you leave behind connects you to those whose lives you touch, and that they touch, and so on, potentially for generations to come.
What is your legacy?