Legacy

What will you leave behind? That was the focus of a discussion led by my good friend Jack Woloshun. We were there to talk about the many crossroads in life and the people with whom we share the journey. Have you thought about what you would like to leave behind? What will remain once your flesh and bones no longer walk this earth? How will you be remembered? To demonstrate what’s possible, Jack pulled out a book his daughter assembled for his 60th birthday. She had contacted the many family and friends from Jack’s life and invited them to express their sentiments. The words were anything but shallow, very unlike canned drugstore greeting cards. Rather they were lengthy letters of affection, memories and hope for the future. Jack only read 3 or 4 letters from the book, but what he shared demonstrated what it means to leave a legacy. Jack has spent his life giving to others; he has chosen to be a giver instead of a taker. The letters reflect a lifetime of memories, influence and impact. I think that is what it’s all about. Legacy is something you may or may not have thought of; I think the answer is likely dependent on your age and to what extent you consider your life in the grand scheme of humankind. Legacy is not about leaving a hospital or street with your name stamped on. It’s not about things you did that elevated your ego. It’s not about how many toys you collected. It’s not even about how much money you left to charities or your kids. Legacy is fundamentally about who you are. Your legacy is a replica of how you live your life every day. What would happen if people were asked...

What Are You Thankful For?...

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving today. It’s a time to reflect on what is most meaningful in our lives. What matters most? What are you thankful for? If you ask most people, they don’t think about the new big screen TV or how much they made in the stock market. They think about relationships–which really are the most precious things in our lives. Here are what some responses from people I asked: GABE: Family & friends. Hanging out with family. My new nephew. That my big brother didn’t marry a psycho. My  brother (currently serving with the Army overseas) and my new sister-in-law.   MELINA: (The new sister-in-law): My 2nd family. A really good (1st) baby      NOEL: Freedom to worship the Lord, the gift of life, family and friends.     ISAAC: Family and friends and all the things that keep us alive.     XAYA: Food, water, shelte, gymnastics. Everybody around me. Being able to live with the Lord.     CHRIS: Freedom, rights and family. Glad I’m home and not somewhere protecting your freedom (Chris is a Marine).      ERICK: Family and everything they do for me.      CHRISTINA: A husband that provides (the Marine). Always family.      OLIVER: My first Thanksgiving.     DEBRA: Family and friends around the world, a loving God who is not a monster, hot showers, electricity, running water, heat, easy transportation, the Internet, digital technologies, fun and fulillment. What a great time to be alive!     This is Thanksgiving Day. Don’t cheapen it to “Turkey...

Valuing Relationships...

Twenty friends had gathered to celebrate my birthday. What was lovely is that the evening was not all about me, it was about friendships. Some were new friends, some relationships went back more than 30 years. It was good because it was fundamentally human–to love and be loved, and to make connections with...

Family Ties

Poet and humanitarian Mya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”