Become A Legacy In Your Own Time

At some point many of us begin thinking about leaving a legacy that will continue after we’ve died.  We want to leave behind tangible evidence of our lives.  We want to know that our living made a positive difference.

A legacy is something handed down from one generation to the next.  Some people are able to leave big legacies—Eisenhower’s cross-country superhighway system, Carnegie’s free public libraries, Roosevelt’s national parks.

Most of us will leave much smaller legacies, though no less important to those we love.

I recently attended a beautiful funeral service for a friend’s father who had died in his mid-80’s.  It was deeply moving to see his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren honor him and his life.  His family is his legacy.

Examine your life and consider the possible legacies you might leave behind.  You could:

  • Coach and mentor younger or less experienced people in the workplace to help them enhance their careers:
  • Befriend and guide children in the community through organizations such as “Boys & Girls Clubs” and “YouthFriends” to provide valuable adult guidance:
  • Donate money and other resources to support causes and organizations you strongly believe in;
  • Create art, literature or music that expresses your perceptions, beliefs or feelings and present them to family, friends or your community;
  • Document your personal and family history on videotape, audiotape, and scrapbooks;
  • Write letters to loved ones telling them what they have meant to you;
  • Put together a cookbook of your favorite recipes with the stories you associate with each recipe;
  • Build a successful business that may be carried on by family members;
  • Live an honest and selfless life.  Be of good cheer.  Be an example of these things to others.

*Originally published  4/11/06 in The Kansas City Star “FYI Solutions” Section, “An Authentic Life” Column as a series of articles contributed by Kansas City life coach Lorrie Crystal Eigles. Eigles provided monthly insights, tactics, and encouragement to help readers realize their potential and lead more rewarding lives.