Last week I attended an event which brought back memories of standing on a podium a few years ago, to deliver a eulogy I had written for a loved one.
Since the event, I have been reflecting on the topic of leaving a legacy.
The question I asked myself?
Am I creating a legacy as well as living a life? Or am I just living life for myself?
How can I ensure I leave a legacy worth leaving?
To be honest, it’s a question to which I hadn’t dedicated days of thought, because it forces us to think about ‘other things’ such as our mortality.
Yes, I’ve had fleeting thoughts about the topic of ‘leaving a legacy’, but days of sitting down and really giving it the attention that it deserves? No. And you know something? I am glad I have done it now rather than later or never, for it has strengthened my purpose and tweaked my ‘Why.’
In today’s society where everything seems to come to us a click of button, much emphasis seems to be placed on living for now, having things just for now, or acquiring material things in the near future.
One scroll on social media, and the focus seems to be on monetary wealth and admiration for wealth—but as many of us are aware, leaving a legacy is not just about the ‘handing down’ of money and material goods to loved ones.
When people stand on a podium to give a congregation a snippet of someone’s life—many a time the snippet has nothing to do with titles, material assets or money in the bank. It’s about the nature of the person, the lessons they left behind. It’s about the love and knowledge they imparted to generations and provision of inspiration to write a eulogy.
Our children and loved ones seldom remember the material gifts they were given. They remember the time spent, the joy created — the feelings that will be etched in their hearts forever.
Lessons, stories and memories…
Our life’s legacy includes how we live, the way we live; what we do for others. It’s what we do for ourselves and how we treat ourselves — it includes our values and zest for life that will be passed on in the form examples and fond memories.
A legacy is left in the form of lessons and stories. These stories enable a person’s loved ones to sit back, reminisce and begin sentences of radiant retrospection with the words, “I remember when…”
It includes leaving life lessons that our children and grandchildren go on to apply in their own lives, which filter to future generations.
‘Laugh out loud’ moments…
It’s the fun times, the ‘goofing around’, jokes and conversations — things which later cause people to laugh out loud when alone in the kitchen washing the dishes, or, shed tears of gratitude when sat in blinding darkness.
It’s our attitude towards life, how we pursue our goals in this life – our persistence and resilience which provides inspiration to all.
It involves leaving memories of our drive and ambition, confidence and belief in oneself, and the support we openly demonstrate to others through our actions in addition to kind words.
How we face obstacles and deal with them is also part of that legacy, as well as setting healthy boundaries as an act of self-love and care, so that people do not ‘take the mick.’
Leaving a legacy includes a person leaving memories of mannerisms, quirks and one-liners that we repeat years later, and pose questions such as, ‘What would they have done?’ when faced with difficult situations.
A life story and everlasting difference in someone’s world…
As well as the ‘hand-me-down’ snippets of knowledge and traditions, it’s about the everlasting footprints we leave on people’s hearts while creating the best story of our lives – encompassing ups and downs, wrong turns, u-turns and right turns—and stories of gratitude and victory.
So am I in the process of creating a legacy? Yes! But this is not an essay ;-), and although this is just a snippet of my thoughts I’d love to know you are thinking! How are you creating your legacy today? Leave a message in the comment section.
Aisha A. Phipps
Musings of Ms. Phipps
© Musings Of Ms Phipps and Aisha Phipps (www.msphipps.co.uk) 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.
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