“No man is an island”, John Donne, meditation XVII, English clergyman and poet (1572-1631)
Ultimately, the story of your life is not your own but affects all whom you have ever known. The story of your life carries great power. That’s why we are so moved by the stories of individuals who have overcome unusual odds.
Therefore, the story of your life is a legacy. The definition of a legacy is a gift which transforms the receiver. The receiver, in this case, could be your spouse, your children, your future unborn family, the community, the nation, or the world.
Indeed, the stories of individual lives have formed the basis and created the motivation for most great cultures and cultural movements- Abraham, Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Lao Tzu, etc, etc. We live by stories and we die by stories– then our own living and dying becomes a story for others.
Do not underestimate who you are and your power to affect others. David O. McKay said that at all times man is radiating what he or she truly is and this radiation affects others and even to some extent the life of the whole world. (For the full and stunning quote, click here.)
The manner of your living and ultimately the manner of your dying has a great effect upon all around you….even the world. As such, it is my belief that events of such power should be recorded for posterity.
The story of your life and it’s lessons should be recorded in audio, video, or
written format. Wisdom emerges in many ways. It is contained not only in the heroic events in our lives, but also is taught when we are able to review the stupid things that we have done. And, most importantly, your unborn great, great, grandchild will need to hear about them both.
Other ideas on how to leave a legacy:
- Explore the term “ethical will”
- Connect or construct your family tree and insert your story at Ancestry.com
- Or simply keep a journal
- Finally, “Live in such a way that when your “sun” sets, others will be inspired by the beauty of your life.” -Monica Williams-Murphy, MD
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