What will be your legacy?
November 30, 2018
“That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched.”
If you are like I am you are concerned about the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. It seems that we have become so greedy as a people that we are only focused on what we can get for ourselves.
The recent report on climate change predicts a devastating future in the decades ahead, putting our coastal citizens in danger while making life difficult for the rest of us. Yet our political leaders choose to pretend climate change does not exist, they are also watering down existing efforts to try and mitigate its effects. At the same time we are building huge federal deficits as we place more emphasis on our own pocket books with little worry about how we will pay for it all. The interest on the national debt our grandchildren will have to pay will leave little money left to pay for infrastructure, health care and more.
We seem to be like the guy who has fallen off the Empire State building and as he passes the 55th floor declares he is alright so far. I hope the legacy I leave will show I have done what I can to avoid being part of the problem.
Kate Snowise wrote the following piece on legacies that I would like to share with you today.
What Do You Want Your Legacy To Be?
Our time on earth is limited. We all know this, yet for some reason, we generally push it to one side. We get caught in the trap of believing there are infinite tomorrows when it simply isn’t the case.
We are here for a short time, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t leave a big legacy. And by big, I don’t mean famous or visible, but a legacy that makes a difference in some way.
So what do you want your legacy to be? Have you ever pondered this question or something similar? What do you want your life to be remembered by? We are full of possibility if we allow ourselves to believe it.
Wayne Dyer, a pioneer in the self-help field and great spiritual teacher passed away suddenly over the weekend. He was 75. I was shocked when I read the post on Facebook from his family that said he was no longer with us. He was a bright light in the world, and you could say his legacy was love. Love for ourselves, love for one another and love for this life. He taught us that through connecting and living with our hearts, we can create heaven on earth. It’s up to us.
I sit here, in my 33-year-old body, in good health, and the tomorrows feel like they stretch as far as I can see. But hearing that a great soul has moved on, and instantaneously knowing his legacy was one of love, brought me back to the point of what do I want to achieve in this life I’ve been given? When you look back at the end of your life, if you are given the chance, and assess what you have done with the moments, the days, the weeks and the years, will you be proud of yourself? Or will you have regrets? What would you have been frustrated that you didn’t do? Or what would you have been incredibly proud of trying?
For me, they are big questions that help to cut through the daily chaos of life and provide a sense of clarity. It’s like shining a light through the busyness so that you can recognize what is really important.
Here are some of my thoughts about my legacy:
If I get to the end of my life and realize that I played it safe because I was too afraid to fail, I would be mad at myself. The only way we know if life has a chance of moving in a certain direction is if we are daring enough to take the risk. I know I won’t regret taking risks.
I hope I leave a legacy, much like Dr. Wayne Dyers. I hope those who knew me will associate my name with a sense of deep, collective love. I hope they will think about their souls and the connection I encouraged them to have with their true-selves. I hope that when those who knew me hear my name after I am gone, they will feel a sense of warmth in their hearts.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
Shannon L. Alder
After putting her children to bed, a mother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around her head & stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard her three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was that?”
Laughter: The shortest distance between two people.
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds.
She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs.
One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, “The tooth fairy will never believe this!”
A man never discloses his character so clearly as when he describes another’s.
A lady came to the hospital to visit a friend. She had not been in a hospital for several years and felt uneasy, not knowing about all the new technology. A technician followed her onto the elevator, wheeling a large, intimidating looking machine with tubes and wires and dials.
“Boy, would I hate to be hooked up to that thing,” she said.
“So would I,” replied the technician. “It’s a floor-cleaning machine.”
Life is cheap. It’s the accessories that kill you.
Harry had just reached his 175th birthday last week. Surrounded by reporters, he was asked, “Excuse me, sir, but how did you come to live to be 175?”
Harry answered, “It was easy. I just never argue with anyone.”
The reporter shot back, “That’s crazy. It had to be something else –diet, meditation, or *something*. Just not arguing won’t keep you alive for 175 years!”
The old fella stared hard at the reporter for several seconds.
Then he shrugged. “Hmmm. Maybe you’re right.”
“Language allows us to reach out to people, to touch them with our innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, victories. To reach out to people we’ll never meet. It’s the greatest legacy you could ever leave your children or your loved ones: The history of how you felt.”
Simon Van Booy
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