: a gift by will especially of money or other personal property : BEQUEST
: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
Legacy (n.): late 14th century, “body of persons sent on a mission,” from Old French legatie “legate’s office,” from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus “ambassador, envoy, “ past participle of legare “appoint by a last will, send as a legate.” Sense of “property left by will” appeared in Scottish mid-15th century.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616, English poet, playwright, and regarded as the greatest writer in the English language; often called England’s national poet, and the ”Bard of Avon.”)
“Are we being good ancestors?”
Jonas Salk (1914-1995, American medical researcher and virologist, who discovered the first successful polio vaccine, for which he never patented nor earned money from his discovery)
“The kind of legacy you leave will only reflect the kind of life you lived.”
Andrena Sawyer (founder and CEO of P.E.R.K. Consulting, an advisory firm for nonprofit and small business consulting, and author of the novel, The Long Way Home)
“When it is all said and done, in the final analysis, a person is only remembered by the impact he/she has had on another person’s life.”
Tom Hackett (b. 1992, age 23, Australian-born American football player, punter for the Utah Utes; and also won the Ray Guy Award in 2014)
“There is no escape – we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”
Frank Herbert (1920-1986, an American science fiction writer best known for the novel, Dune, and its five sequels)
“Life supports what supports more of life”
Anthony “Tony” Robbins (b. 1960, age 55, American motivational speaker, self-help author and life coach)
“Culture was actually humanity’s attempt to extend the womb.”
Christopher (Henry Dawson) (1889-1970, British independent scholar, who wrote many books on cultural history and Christendom, and called “the greatest English-speaking Catholic historian of the twentieth century.”)
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies . . . Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die . . . It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.”
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012, American science fiction, fantasy, horror and mystery author, best known for The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451)
Years ago, two dear friends and I sat down to brainstorm on how to create meaning in our lives and especially through our work. We realized that fulfillment wasn’t about upward mobility, career advance, or paying the bills. We needed more.
So we worked together to tap in and sketch out each other’s “dream catcher” blueprints. We asked tough questions and boiled it down to one essential question: “What is your legacy?”
Since embarking on my spiritual quest, I’ve been asking other questions along the same line: What is my purpose? What is my mission? How can I facilitate healing, peace, and joy in the world?
Tony Robbins divides the “Art of Fulfillment” into two parts: 1) contribution and 2) appreciation; and asks, “what is it that shapes us” and makes us feel creative, playful, and passionate about our lives?
In the brainstorming session, with the help of these brilliant women, we were able to break the essential question of legacy also into two parts (which I believe corresponds to Robbin’s questions): the inputs (contributions) and outputs (appreciation).
For my personal journal, I was able to drill down my desired legacy to the following: Contributions made by sowing the seeds of unconditional love, healing (empathy), beauty (art, creativity), and joy (happiness) through the art of storytelling (appreciation, multi-dimensionally).
It was liberating to delve in and say out loud to these two beloved witnesses what I cared most about, the well-being of others, especially children and young adults, whose goodness and wholeheartedness hold the keys to the advancement of our world.
So, dear friends, what is your legacy and what talents are you gifting to our world? I hope you are ready to contemplate questions? I would love to hear from you.
Whatever the answers, you, your contributions and appreciation are valuable and important.
With Deep Gratitude, Tonya