Part Two of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine
A life lived virtuously and consciously ripples and reverberates eternal. That is the legacy of unsung heroes.
That is one of the legacies I hope to leave behind and try to live every aspect of my life with that goal in mind. There is a part of me, the ego part I suppose, that wants to see the difference I am making. I also know that there is so much I cannot see that profoundly affects my life, the lives of others, the universe, and the spiritual world. I don’t necessarily have to see the total impact my life is making to know that I am making one.
Those of us who have children will certainly leave a legacy for them. If we love our children, the legacy we leave should be a positive one.
My goal in raising my children was to break the dysfunctional patterns of my heritage, the problematic legacy that had been left for me. It took most of my life to break the debilitating cycle I inherited but through tenacity I succeeded. I got professional help for myself and made conscious choices in raising my children. I refused to subject them to a life of emotional uphill climbing; to emotionally saddle them with the problems of my past.
They have been fortunate to not have to back-pedal through life as I did. They are both living wonderful, successful, progressive, and happy lives. They are making healthy choices. That is the legacy I will leave them and the generations that come after them. If I accomplish nothing else in life, I will leave this Earth fulfilled.
Everyone has a different perspective so not everyone will see things from my point of view. My perspective works for me and I hope to inspire others with it. But there are many ways that we can impact the future and leave our mark on it, many ways we can leave a legacy that will stand the test of time.
Step outside of yourself for a minute and view yourself from the outside looking in. How do others see you? Evaluate your morals, values, and beliefs. Would you be proud for others to follow in your footsteps? Assess what areas you can improve on and then take action immediately.
As long as you live and breathe you can change what is not working in your life. The problem is we never know when we will stop living and breathing. That is why we should never hesitate to make positive changes as soon as we realize they need to be made.
A legacy is a reflection of your uniqueness and self-expression. What personality traits or innate gifts do you possess that seem to have the most impact on others? Is it your morals and character, your generous heart, your ability to inspire others, or your peaceful nature? Is it your talents, your sense of humor, your idiosyncrasies, or your intellect?
Now think about the interests and issues that arouse your enthusiasm. Do you want to make a difference in causes such as child abuse, animal abuse, homelessness, health issues, or better education for our children? Are you civic minded and strive for changes in your community or country? Are you passionate about making global changes such as world peace, saving the environment, world hunger, or stopping the spread of disease?
Next think about the largess of your impact. Do you want to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren? Will you be happy with a legacy that stays within the family tree for generations to come? Would you like to make a difference in someone’s life through vehicles such as adoption, foster care, or volunteering? Do you want to impact the survivors of a cause? Are you hoping to be famous? Do you want to leave your indelible mark on mankind?
Once you have narrowed down the area or areas you would like to focus on you may need a plan to help you implement it. Your plan should include short-term and long-term strategies. Be flexible and understand that you cannot achieve everything at once. Life is a series of processes. Life is continuously unfolding. Everything shifts and changes over time. Your reality today may not be your reality tomorrow, next month, or next year.
Evaluate where you are now in your life and then think about the direction you want your legacy to take you. How will you implement moving towards your goal? Perhaps you have gifts that you have not shared with others and would like to; assets you believe others would benefit from. Maybe you have regrets about something you have done to someone in the past and have not yet made amends for, but hope to. Maybe you have been longing to document your life in a journal or write a book.
Planning the legacy you want to leave for the generations who follow after you is a loving act. None of us will live forever but we should all leave behind a positive part of us that will.