legacies…

This week I heard some great news about Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burt’s Bees cosmetics.   Over the years, she’s bought a LOT of land in Maine.  She now wants to donate most of that land to the National Park Service for the first new National Park since the ’80s.  You can read all about it here.

Maybe it was hearing this story.  Or maybe it’s because I’m in my 50s, but I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies lately.

When I’m no longer here, what/if any difference will my life have made?

I’m not trying to get all morbid here.   I just think it’s worth pondering ~ especially while I still have the chance to shape the legacy I want to leave.

Actually, I think THAT’s the point.  I don’t believe legacies just happen.   In order to happen, they must first be imagined; then shaped; then offered.

I haven’t wrapped words around what I want mine to be, but I’m working on it.

In the meantime, what do you want yours to be and how are you making that happen?

9 thoughts on “legacies…

  1. I’ve thought a lot over the years about “footprints.” At some point, each of us wants to look back and see we’ve left some footprints along the way. How many we leave…and how deep they are…depends on the things we do along the way. I’ve often thought that some of the footprints I’ll leave will be very deep, even thought I may not leave a lot of them. We’re so often caught up in “being me” that we forget that our legacy will be the footprints we leave. Just hope I can forget that “being me and my stuff” doesn’t leave behind many footprints. Took a long time for me to realize that not many people will care about what you did, knew, or had, but they’ll remember the footprints you left….which usually means what kind of person you were/are and how your affected the lives of others.

  2. I love what Tom wrote, well said! I too am in the second half of my life and starting to reflect a little more on my trajectory through that life at this point.When I started doing research on my ancestry I realized how little impact most of us leave on the world and the lives around us. Not many of us have a clear idea of our great grandparents names and how they lived and that’s not very long ago. I love my grandchildren dearly and its strange to think that my grandchildren’s children may know me only as a name or a funny story. They will be so busy living their lives that my life will be just a small footnote to theirs. Which means to me that the best thing I can leave behind is strong, brave, amazing children. Hopefully they will be middle-aged or more and I will be ancient when I die. But if I know they are more beautiful inside, stronger at heart and better than I was, then my life was not in vain and there is hope that the next generations will affect grace and change for the better in the world.

  3. Tom, i think your footprints description is perfect ~ and lovely. thanks!

    Roxanna, your children are blessed to have you as their Guide.

    thanks for commenting, ya’ll ~~~

  4. Lisa my dear…you are already a legacy. Your kindness and caring spirit will most certainly be passed to future generations from those who are close to you. However, your legacy, or what those pure mortals left behind think of your contributions or worth while you were here on earth, is of lessor importance than what your Father in Heaven sees in your heart . For once we pass through this short life on earth our eternal life begins. I am sure that even though you are not there, you will be, and I would bet that more than likely you are already a legacy in his eyes.

  5. This question was a tough one…. and still has me thinking. I remember when my mom thought she was dying (5 years before she did, but it was close at the time) her wish to me was “Please tell my grandchildren about me”. Roxanne, I would like to believe I am part of my mom’s legacy in that I am a strong and capable human being….and I show off the best parts of who she was to me!

    Tom, you have me thinking about the footprints I leave. And like you, I want them to be deep and firm. Not so worried about the quantity.

    So, Lisa, once again you have me thinking and reflecting on my life and how I live it! Thanks!!!! 🙂

  6. Very interesting subject to ponder as I think of this often!!! I am so grateful for the legacy my parents left for me. My parents owned a handbag manufacturing plant. This being said, they employed many people. My parents were huge role models on how to treat people. They treated everyone of their employees as if they were their own family. My dad respected them all and appreciated each one of them for who they were. I also learned from my parents the dangers of being prejudice. They taught us to repsect everyone regardless of race, religion, or economic status. My prayer is that I am able to impart this same wisdom on my children so they can go out into the world and treat people kindly.

  7. It’s a difficult question Lisa. I suppose the biggest legacy I will leave will be my daughter, Jennifer. Who, in turn, gave me Emma, my grandaughter. Other than that I don’t feel that I have or will leave much to society. I will, I feel, leave having loved and been loved. I guess I couldn’t ask for more.

  8. Oh yeah…I forgot to say that I agree with Rick. This world is a better place because you are in it Lisa. Don’t ever doubt what you will leave behind and the number of hearts you have filled. Love you!

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