What is your legacy? Historically legacy has been defined as the property gifted to another upon the owner’s death, but contemporary society is creating a new definition. The redefinition of legacy is linked to how you show up in the world, the impact you make on other people.
‘Legacy’ is the magazine title for NAI, National Association of Interpreters. From the NAI website: “If you help visitors learn about a place that’s important to you, you’re an interpreter! Interpreters connect visitors to important natural, cultural, and historical resources.” What is important for you to interpret from your life into other people’s lives?
When my granddaughter was old enough to walk, I always took her hand in parking lots and told her “Hold Grandma’s hand to make sure I don’t wander off.” Even though she is well past the age of needing hand-holding in parking lots, I tried it again this past weekend. I took her hand and told her, “Hold Grandma’s hand to make sure I don’t wander off.” Lovely tween that she is, she removed her hand from mine, so I wandered off and hid in a group of trees.
My daughter played along and said, “oh no! Grandma wandered off! Where is she?” My toddler grandson got a bit upset that I was missing, so I popped my head out among the trees. My granddaughter immediately quipped, “Look Mom, there’s a wild hippie in its native habitat” and pointed at me.
We all had a good laugh, the granddaughter came and got me, held my hand firmly, and returned me to our family unit. My daughter complimented her on her sense of humor and quick wit. I felt a moment of pride that we had experienced family fun together during a walk in a parking lot, and realized that this is my family legacy – shared moments of laughter and fun, handed down through generations to show love.
Dr. Jan Yager recommends asking yourself every day, “What legacy do I want to leave behind?”, as a time-management technique. Invest your time wisely for the best return. For some people this truly means working 100 hours per week, dedicating themselves to their life work. For others it is a balance of different responsibilities. How will you devote your time to leave your legacy? Only you can answer this question. Only you have your own answer.
When I look towards my future, I want to leave a legacy that runs rich. –Kyle Shewfelt