Something handed down from one generation to the next.
What do you plan on leaving behind when you are dead and gone? Yeah I know, that is a bit of a crude and depressing question to reflect on, but it’s necessary. We must understand that we have to leave more than material things behind for the next generation to come. For the reason that, life does not consist of the abundance of what one has alone but the main source and purpose of life is the impact and influence one has had on their generation and the generation to follow.
So legacy can be classified as another term for inheritance. Now, another question I want you to reflect on is what is more infinite? The legacy of character or the legacy of wealth? Ok, let me explain. I believe that character is compatible with reputation. If you agree say Amen hunny! As Abraham Lincoln states “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow”. What I interpret from this is that our character just like a tree is something that is nurtured and pruned. And this process for our character specifically begins from childhood as a result it becomes something that represents us. Even though it stems from within, it branches out and becomes an external representation of who we are. I will come back to that. Moreover, the second part of this quote basically formulates the imagery of our reputation being a product of our character as a result it looms over us and follows us wherever we go. Ok, so I am aware that the verb loom does connate that you are being stalked by your past but it essentially is the case, to be honest. So just a quick alert, be slow to act because sometimes it can come back to curse you or bless you. I’m just saying.
Ok, so back to my point. It could be said that legacy consists of the following components; Behaviour, personality and attitude. So let’s break it down.
Behaviour, the way you act or conduct yourself towards others. Are you respectful? Do you have the basic manners that consists of the words please and thank you? Do you look down on people because you think you are better off than them financially or due to your level of qualifications? Do you treat the CEO the same way you treat the cleaner? How do you behave towards others? Period, point, blank.
Personality, firstly do you even have a personality! Hehehe I’m joking. So basically what are the characteristics and qualities that you possess that makes you unique and causes you to stand out from the crowd. Do you stand out for good or bad reasons? Because don’t get me wrong you can be unique for a bad or good reason. Unique is being different y’all, its not always automatically a good thing. And finally, your attitude. There are many definitions for attitude but I’m going with the one that states that it consists of your thoughts and feelings therefore your moral and social standpoint.
All of these components that I have stated above are passed down to us like a baton from our parents. Now, obviously we are not robots and clones of our parents therefore we will develop our own personality and attitude. However, due to the training we receive from childhood a foundation is created. A foundation that no matter how much we try will always stand because remember “old habits die hard”.
Ok, so the point I am trying to get across is basically that we should not focus on the material things in life. Yes, we should strive for success and aim to ensure that we are able to leave an inheritance behind that will give our children a safety blanket. However, we must remember that material things will drift away but aspects like one’s character is infinite. And for that reason, we must spend our time on the things that will last forever. So you might be thinking, what are you expecting me to do now? I’m not dead or anything and I don’t have children yet. Well my advice to you and myself is that we should focus on nurturing our character, we should be humble and learn from our parents. Learn the good and leave the bad habits. So that we can continue their legacy and our children can carry ours on. Our legacy is our reputation.