What Is Your Legacy?
What will people say about you when you are gone?
On the way to work, the talk show on the radio was discussing how a family wrote a mean obituary about their mother. The children were so upset about her and some of the things she did in her lifetime that they shared them for the world to see. They went as far to say that she would not be missed!
Although I did not condone the choices that the woman made in her life for the family to be upset with her, I do feel sorry that this is how she will be remembered. It also made me start thinking about how I will be remembered when I pass. Will people be sad that I am gone? Will they be happy not to deal with me anymore? Worst yet, will they not even care that I’m gone? What have I done in my life that has impacted others positively? This also made me think about the negative impacts I’ve made as well.
The most important people in my life are my husband, my parents, my siblings, and their children. I have started thinking about ways to make them respect me and be prouder of me going forward. Right now, I don’t believe I have done anything remarkable with my life.
I first thought about my husband. Is he proud of me? I know he loves me, but is he proud of the person I am? Will he be sad that he is now missing his life partner? Or will he be relieved and happy that he can now move on to someone who makes him happy? My husband is the only person I can truly say I believe is proud of me now. He tells me every chance he gets that he loves me and how wonderful he thinks I am. Sometimes I only believe it because he does. That self-esteem issue I have is a whole other story.
So, on to other family members. What would your parents think about you? We only hope that we outlive our parents, and I know they hope that to, but keep with me. Would your parents say they are proud of you? Would they truly mean it? Have you made all their hard work and sacrifices in life worth it? I know this is one I struggle with. I know I am a college graduate and I finally got the marriage situation right, but what have I truly accomplished with my life? What is my legacy? Right now, I could not tell you because I don’t think I’ve created it yet.
This is my challenge to you all. Think about your legacy. Are you proud of it? Would your closest friends and family be proud? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you are ahead of the game. If the answer is no, what are you going to do about it?
So, if you are in the no category with me, let’s see what we can do to change how we feel about ourselves. I know this article is titled, “What will say about me when I’m gone?” but what really matters is what do you think should be said about you when you are gone. Do you want to be known as the selfish businessman or woman who only thought about yourself? Or do you want to be known as the kind, generous person? This doesn’t mean give all your money away or spend all your time at the soup kitchen, but small things will make a big difference in the world and to how you feel about yourself.
I want you to pledge to do something kind for someone. Whether it’s pay for someone’s meal when you can afford the extra expense, donate your time to a local shelter, or just have a friendly conversation at work with that person who always feels like no one wants to talk to them. All these things will seem small but can make a big impact. My pledge is to volunteer my time a few hours a week at a local animal shelter. I will be looking into this Monday morning. What will you do?