Leaving A Legacy
Last Update: Jan 21, 2015
Have you ever thought about your own legacy? Have you ever thought about what you’ll be remembered for when you are no longer here on earth? I know that more often we do not like to think about death or anything associated with it. Well, what I’m interested in is not death or any of the ugly staff that comes with it, but I want to talk about the ‘essence of your being’ and its potential of living much longer after you shall have departed.
I can imagine that the first thing that comes to mind when talking about legacy issues is financial security. Of cause, the most immediate thing that we can afford our children and loved ones is financial security even when we are no longer there. One example that I always give is that I want my children to smile when they come to lay wreaths on my grave (in the far future though because I’m not going to die anytime soon. Lol!) because I shall have done everything possible to make sure that they are comfortable. I don’t want them to curse my grave because I shall have left them with nothing but memories. Memories are good, but they shall not put bread on their tables. This is probably depressing you by now. I am sorry about that, let’s just forget about the ugly and depressing staff and look at something interesting.
Perhaps the good question to ask is: “what are you currently doing that is uniquely yours?” or “how qualitative and interesting is your life?” We cannot live our lives for the sake of leaving a legacy, but in the process of living our lives we are building a legacy. In other words we are not leaving our lives for the future, but whatever we do with our lives today has a potential of catching up with us in future. Some people are thinking by now that to leave a legacy you need to be a Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Mahatma Ghandi or any of the great men and women who lived in the past. I want to believe that even these guys (as in the example) they lived their lives not for the purpose of leaving a legacy, but the influence they had lived long beyond themselves.
These are examples of things you can do to build your legacy. You will notice that the examples I will give are actually not meant for the future, but it’s about you in the present life. The added advantage is that they have potential of staying behind when you are long gone.
Have a quotation to your name: do you have principles you live buy that you would like to share with others? A quotation that you can develop and habitually incorporate in your speech is a starting point
Publish a book: you don’t need to write an autobiography, a children story book or a how-to-book (e.g. bake banana bread, bathe a new-born baby etc.) is ok. Surely there is something that you know which you can pass on to another person. We surely all have a story to tell
Invent a word: I don’t think that Beyoncé knew that the word ‘bootylicious’ will day one find a spot in the Oxford English Dictionary
Start a foundation: you can start something small, but it doesn’t have to end small. When people start to believe in what you are doing, they can invest in it. If you are financially viable, you can start one as a way of giving back to the community.
Be the first person to …: if you are creative and gifted, be the first person to do something and get your name listed the world Guinness book of records. Even the most bizarre things are recognised these days.
These are but a few examples you can do to build your legacy. You know best what you are capable of. We owe it to our children, we owe it to our communities, and we owe it to our Creator. A legacy can either be positive or negative, the choice of how you live your life if yours.
You don’t want to be gone and forgotten one day. Of cause you can be gone, but you don’t have to be forgotten. This will depend entirely on what you are doing in your life.
Hello Sylvia. You definitely have me thinking. Because of the struggles of life and the bad decisions I have made, I have nothing to show for it. Still living check to check with nothing in the bank. Well I have been trying and failing for 11 years now to get something going online that I can not only provide a better life for myself and my family, but something I can leave behind that they will be proud of me. Now that I have found WA, I know I will succeed. I am 57 years young and unless God decides to take me soon, I will succeed this time. Thank you for reassuring me that If i work hard, it will happen with the help of my friends here at WA. Ever Forward.
Start a foundation or publish a book sounds great to me. :)
Thanks very much Sylvia for another great blog!!
Sylvia (hello name sister), I love your inside and what you have expressed with this post. You gave me lots to think about for sure. Just one little thing Adolf Hitler together with Mandela and Martin Luther King? I am a natural born German and Hitler didn't leave any legacy but only chaos, war ,hate etc.
I don't want to criticize but this man was pure evil and isn't worth to be mentioned at the same time with real great men who fought for people's rights and freedom, not the other way around.
Just my 2 cents, please don't feel offended.
Thanks for your comment Kil, I will be more sensitive next time not to use People of his calibre as an example.
And one more thing, I will edit the post to remove him, for the sake of those who have not yet read the post. thanks again for sensitising me on this one
This blog is the true essence of life. Having a life purpose,
everyone should have one. I have come to realise living is
more than having a rudimentary lifestyle.
As a person becomes older they must look beyound themself
and find their true purpose in life. Many times i like to peer
into other peoples biography to see where I'm missing the mark
so that I can reinforce my own character.
I have a belief system that says that however humble one maybe, there will always be a lot of other people who are looking up to you. Who believe that you have achieved and you become their role model. so, we thus all have the ability to impart something on someone.
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Well done and very interesting. Thank you!