With the recent passing of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. , I have spent some time reflecting on legacy and what is left behind when we are gone. You hear the phrase all the time, "I just want to leave a legacy". For most people, a large part of legacy is in the way we are perceived by others. Unlike Mr. Vonnegut, many people are not able to leave behind something as permanent as a novel or a painting, but we build our legacy based actions, accomplishment, and the words and thoughts of those who knew us. Each person you knew will remember you in a different way, is that legacy? I have seen it defined as something handed down or given to the next generation, is that legacy?
This past week a close family friend past away, and I had already written the paragraph above. She was 79, but, due to a condition she had had all her life, she lived her life as a six year old. As I drove to the wake I thought about her legacy, I thought about what she has passed on the next generation, and I thought about how I will remember her. She didn't have much to give, but she always had a smile on her face and a bow in her hair. At the wake they passed out bows to all of the females, and hand painted cards with the Guardian Angel Prayer typed upon them. Below the prayer was this sentence: "When people act more like angels, earth will be more like heaven." Can a smile or bow be a legacy or does it actions?
Several years ago I was given a book called "A Father Legacy", and inside there were a series of questions. The questions ranged from "Your fondest memory of ... to tell me a time when you...". Can the answers that I write in this book in my twenties be the legacy that I leave? As I write I feel it may be a small part of my legacy.
How often do you think about your legacy and the legacy of those who you have known? What do you want your legacy to be?