What will our legacy look like?
Jane Walters urges us to consider what imprint we will leave on the next generation.
I made my will last week. (I refuse to be drawn over whether it had anything to do with the fact that I was due, that same week, to be working at height on a scaffolding tower!)
Making a will is probably the most grown-up thing I’ve ever done as an adult, but something that I’ve been putting off. I mean - surely I wasn’t yet old enough to be thinking of such things? Well, the mirror finally persuaded me otherwise and the deed was done. (Apologies if you don’t get a mention in said document. There’s only so much – or should that be so little – to go around!)
Flippancy aside, it’s never too late, or too early, to think about legacy. By that, I don’t mean the physical stuff that we hand down the line, but more the impact that our lives might make on those coming after us. Whether we tiptoe through life or stamp through it in hobnail boots, we all leave our imprint.
Think of a teacher, whose enthusiasm and passion for their subject instilled a love of it in us that we’ve never been able to shake off;
A neighbour, who reminded us how good a place home could be;
A friend, whose support and advice enabled us to take steps that have brought us to where we are today;
A church minister, whose faithful teaching helped to build faith in us which, in turn, has encouraged others who watch us.
These people planted seeds in us that have produced fruit; and this fruit, in turn, produces more seed.
So, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Which words of yours do you want others to remember? What funny stories do you hope will feature in the next generation’s family anecdotes? What qualities will turn out to have defined you? Kindness? Generosity? A listening ear? What seeds do you want to plant into the next generation?
What we choose to do now will become our future legacy. And if, for some reason, we suspect that some parts of who we are might be remembered for all the wrong reasons – that some of our seed might become weeds – well, there’s time to put that right.
As I read recently: ‘The best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is now.’
The image above is courtesy of pixabay.com.
Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: www.janeclamp.com
The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users.