What will your Legacy be?

“Every generation leaves behind a legacy. What that legacy will be is determined by the people of that generation. What legacy do you want to leave behind?”

John Lewis

Watching news coverage on the passing of Congressman John Lewis this quote really made me think.

What will our Legacy be?

Congressman Lewis spent his entire adult life fighting for equality. He has been called the conscience of Congress. It strikes me that his death comes at a time when our country is examining our collective conscience. What will our legacy be?

For me this is not an easy question to answer. I need to reflect on it without stating the first thing that comes to mind. I would love to learn how your would answer this question. Please leave your comments below and indicate if you are willing to have them made public. Thank You.

2 thoughts on “What will your Legacy be?

  1. Wow! There is so much I wish to be remembered for and for others to say I influenced their lives. As a lifelong educator, the thousands of children, youth, and adults with whom I have worked might, I hope, say I left them with something that helped their lives. Decades later, I am still in touch with many of them which indicates to me that I made an impression on their lives. Starting and developing a charity that has, to date, donated more than 2600 instruments and 30+ scholarships might be a legacy worthy of remembering. My 500+ daily devotions for Advent and Lent certainly give me pleasure and, hopefully, are cause for remembering. However, when I try to measure these against anyone else’s accomplishments seem to pale a bit, for attempting to model humility, integrity, and ethical living are, for me, even greater and certainly more important. I was a young adult when the civil rights movement was underway. I watched the chaos that was taking place in places like Memphis and Birmingham from the safety of TV distance While I sympathized with the protesters, I did nothing and took no action. When others protested against an unjust war, I did not raise my voice and allowed myself to be drafted, serving in the war. It took the death of our son to bring me to action with our charity. It took the death of my wife of nearly 50 years to truly appreciate unconditional love. I know that a legacy can only be left with those who follow me — my children and their children. I can only hope that they will, in turn, create legacies of their own of which I would be proud.

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  2. I appreciate your question. It is an important question, especially at the season of retirement. I wrote a book four years ago with this chapter title: “Legacy Planning Empowers Legacy Living”. Having served as a pastor for over 50 years, I am aware that many people think of financial bequests when they hear the term legacy.

    While I believe one needs to be intentional and complete a will or bequest, I think the most important part of your legacy needs to be defined by your life purpose. I want to have a clear, concise, and compelling purpose for my second half of life. Retirement gives us greater opportunity to focus on the relational, emotional, and spiritual needs in life! We can draw closer to God and those we love and do those things we really enjoy!

    Too many people think life is over at retirement. Yet, it can be an exciting time to live out your legacy and really make a difference to others. One’s legacy brings a great sense of contentment but a greater sense of urgency.
    I can now focus on my top four areas of legacy living! I know what I can do best and how I can better serve others with joy. In the midst of this pandemic I have had to approach each day with prayer, focus, and confidence that this crisis also provides opportunities. I have had more time for reflection, meditation, and discovery.

    Just like completing a will or bequest, each of us would do well to write/update a legacy letter (s) to those you love that can be read when you leave this world. My journals will also tell something of my life story for my family to read. My legacy will witness my deep love, profound faith in God, and lift up examples of the importance of living a purposeful life of serving others. I am adding a few of my favorite jokes, too!

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