Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#trust30: Legacy

Legacy by Tim Belber

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

One definition of legacy is what someone feels, thinks and says when they hear your name. What are you doing today to build the legacy you want?
(Author: Tim Belber)
The word legacy to me brings to mind the word family.  Jim and Shirley Denison led a Homebuilders weekend back when we were at Lake focusing on the topic of legacy.  Legacy remains after you're no longer around.  Sure, that can exist in an office, staff remembering who you were after you left, but that's incredibly fleeting, subject to revision and often negative -- even if untrue, the last guy out the door often gets the blame for a lot of stuff because once you're an adult "not me" can't get the blame anymore.  So family legacy, that's something that endures.  Friends of ours are part of a multi-generational close-knit family.  Each successive generation has had larger-than-average families and so it just builds exponentially.  (Part of our now canceled desire to have three natural children ourselves.)  But family is the legacy that lasts.  Pridefully, we can try to leave our name on something by buying a new wing for a hospital or donating a park, but eventually, those two, succumb to the bulldozer.  No, it's only your name that has the potential to live on in others who receive it themselves at birth and as they come to be adults, decide what that means to them.  So in that, my desire is to raise children who surpass me in terms of how they navigate the waters of life - their love of Jesus, their love of their own families, the example they set yet again for generations after them.  It is, in a few words, intentional brand-building.  One measure of success will be how close the generations stay together.  This family I mentioned all lives pretty close to one another, able to gather together regularly, to share in child-rearing (they are their own village, essentially) and be an example and guiding force in each other's life.  My wife's family is spread out across the country and while my family is closer together, it's not that close and I was far away for a time.  I hope my children help to keep that gap even closer together.  Only time will tell.
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