Many of us have an earnestness to make the world a better place.
Several, indeed make their efforts during life to help improve the environment or the lives of others through altruistic deeds – social services and charity activities. The question is, after death, how can people continue to touch hearts of those they have been attempting to help?
This is where we can term what we leave behind as our “legacy” for future generations. The term “Legacy” is often used to describe personal assets or capital, included in a will left by the deceased for children or other loved members.
While the term “legacy” is often used to describe an inheritance of materialistic value, it can even be a simple yet powerful set of principles of attitudes that people can leave behind for the successful future and existence of their children, well wishers and acquaintances. The legacy of inspiration individuals leave behind in the hearts of those they know after their demise makes way for others to continue the good work they were doing.
A beloved family member of mine who is today no more, in the past used to often regret that he is not leaving assets or organizations of great value to his children. Completely aware of his miscellaneous charity and social works, I used to reassure him by letting him know that his greatness lies in the positive difference he has made to his children’s lives and the world. His inability to leave behind successful corporate organisations or property is nothing to be concerned about, when the impact he made to the lives of those around him was so powerful and will reverberate for years.
One of the first steps to ensure that we leave a valuable legacy behind is by focusing on excellence in our life. Whatever we attempt in our life, right from making a glass of lemonade, our role as a family member, friend, a member of an organisation or even a corporate wizard, give it the best that we can.
Leading a life that reflects our core values and love for the world is a fantastic legacy that you can leave behind for others to emulate.
Teaching our child and others we interact with, how to care for others and the world is a fantastic way of highlighting the importance of the ability to love is.
For some, teaching their child to be street smart is the number one priority. Teaching a child to take care of oneself is indeed crucial but does that alone nurture the ability to feel compassionate and sensitive about others?
From what I’ve observed, the more attention and effort we spend in developing our child and nurturing the child as a wholesome personality, the child’s sense of happiness is one that relates to the confidence he/she experiences. It also enables the child to care for those around.
A dear family friend of ours had recently visited us with his charming wife and their one year old child. The child was encouraged, without the faintest criticism, to communicate, eat and express what she felt during the meal. There was also a conscious effort made by the parents not to make their little one self conscious while she ate. What was interesting to note was the behavior of their active child. She not only displayed remarkable interest in her environment and her love to explore but showed no irritation, temper tantrum or any discomfort at the sight of strangers. On the contrary, she showed an exceptional interest in people around her, was extremely loving, fearless, sociable and expressive.
It was obvious that the child will be gifted with an extraordinary positive attitude as her legacy from her academically brilliant and bold parents.
Another factor that we need to focus on during our life and one that we can encourage others too to learn from is the awareness of the purpose in life.
Once our child or others we interact with regularly, understand and imbibe the values we have regarding the purpose of our life, our core life philosophy gets continued with conviction.
Sense of responsibility, achieving goals, leading a value centered way of life and belief in self accountability are some of the other factors that aid the success of the person’s purpose of life.
The best place a child can learn the importance of the purpose of life is from home. The efforts that parents make in creating a harmonious family environment that encourages the role and the responsibility and duty of every family member is a powerful message to their children. This clarity of the purpose and the commitment instills a powerful belief in the children that continues with strength even after the death of their parents.
The purpose and commitment individuals show in the manner they lead their life is a legacy that not just their children but those they know can emulate and learn from.
None can live forever but creating something that survives time, something that positively changes others, something that makes people believe in our values and beliefs… is legacy.