April 22, 2015
What is your legacy?
Have you ever wondered what memories and impressions in others you’re creating with each day lived, each action taken—or not taken? Have you ever thought about what your impact is on family and friends, and how you’ll be remembered? What kind of person are you? What matters to you the most? Do you live your life to the fullest, or have you always pulled your punches, and are now riddled with regrets?
Life is so short. We none of us know how long we’ll be here. We don’t know why some people are given more than a hundred years here on this planet, while others’ lives can be measured in days or weeks or only a couple of decades. We don’t know why, for example, in the midst of a violent attack, a grandmother survives, while, just inches away from her, a child dies.
All we have is what we have, and we never have more than one day at a time. We hope for more, and because it is in our nature, we plan for more. But we don’t ever have more. We only ever have today. In fact, we only ever have this moment.
Some people are spiritual beings, open to the possibilities of different faiths and beliefs. Some people only believe what they can see with their eyes and touch with their hands. Each of us might hold that our beliefs are the only right ones. Or we might accept that some matters are between the individual and the God they worship. With so much diversity, and so many differences, where you find your comfort and your strength, is as individual as you are. One thing, however, we all can agree upon, is that what we do and who we are can have an impact on others. We all have the ability to do ill, or do good. That’s our choice.
Because that is true, then I believe that leaving a legacy of caring is an enviable thing. Being a person who loves others, helps others, and thinks of others’ well-being before their own is to give blessings and receive them back a hundred fold.
You cannot purchase the sense of satisfaction you get from having touched someone in a positive way in any store for any amount of money. There is no substitute for the internal benefits you get for being a person who seeks to uplift others, rather than to tear them down.
When you seek to leave a legacy of love, you’re doing the very best thing in the world that you could possibly do. You are giving increase to others and gifting them with a part of yourself.
It’s never too late to make a difference in the life of one person. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or do anything heroic. You don’t even need to spend a lot of time. You really just need to take your eyes off yourself and put them on someone else for a little bit. Even a smile, given to someone who looks alone, or sad, or just thoughtful is something you can do to make a difference in that one person’s life.
I know that life is hard, and full of challenges that must be met, and obstacles that must be overcome. Trials hit us all, as does pain both physical and emotional, and the tragedy of loss. These things are inevitable. And it is because life can be hard and harsh that even small gestures and random acts of kindness matter so much. People matter. Every life is worthwhile, and every life counts.
So, what is your legacy?
When I’m gone, and people think of me, I hope they smile and say, now there was a good friend.