What is Your Legacy?
Do you think much about dying? When we’re young, very few of us give much thought to that but as we get older, it crosses our mind more frequently. Sometimes we wonder how our family will fare or other personal issues or concerns. But do we think much about the legacy we are leaving behind?
What are the most valuable traits you see in yourself? How do you want to see those perpetuated through your children, your workers and others? Do you see your role as making sure those qualities are carried into the future?
I would suggest being a man of integrity includes thinking about the legacy you leave behind. Whatever your age, it is not too late to work on that. For example, will you be remembered as someone who gave of himself to others? Will you be seen as someone who was totally dedicated to his career or business? Will you be seen as a loving, attentive spouse or parent or grandparent?
These are important questions and deserve your thoughtful consideration. If we are totally consumed with getting ahead, making more money, having a more lavish lifestyle, etc. we don’t have much left to offer others. All of those things are worthwhile, but they should not define us. And they certainly should not be the thing others remember about us when we’re gone.
In this world today, there are too few kind and considerate people focused on the welfare of others. And that can be a valuable legacy to leave behind and instill in our children and the people we love or care about.
Here are some questions you can use to think about the legacy you will leave:
Am I involved in worthwhile community or church efforts to improve this world?
Do I demonstrate through my actions and beliefs that I am a person of integrity?
Do my children see me as a kind, considerate person who can be trusted?
Do I have close friends who value my counsel and confidentiality?
Am I making active efforts to improve my marriage and my relationships with others?
Am I involved in my place of worship in ways other than just donations?
Have I shared what I have learned in ways that people will remember and perhaps pass on to others?
Have I helped someone today? Last week? Routinely?
Have I made it a point to thank the people who have helped me in my life and career?
Do I keep up with friends from the past and protect relationships?
Can I get out of my comfort zone and learn about other’s lives and concerns?
Do I have an active spiritual life that is meaningful to me and others?
When you are dead and gone, others will think of you occasionally. But certain ones will think of you a lot, thanking you for your attention or kind words. Or your instruction and guidance. Or your unfailing friendship.
Give this some thought and focus your life around things that are truly important and that will outlast you.