Building a Legacy

Try explaining the word “legacy” to an 8 year old…

Every morning my daughter wakes up and comes into my office to say hello. Usually it’s right when I start posting my motivation for the day. Today she helped me pick out the photo and then asked me what this quote meant.

Me~ “A legacy is the thing you are remembered for after you are gone, what you accomplished, who you helped, the way you lived your life. Creating a legacy is doing the hard work to make change in the world.”

Daughter~ “But what does ‘rich as honesty’ mean?”

Me~ “Some people believe that building a legacy means having millions of dollars or having lots of material things.”

Daughter~ “Materials, like fabric and wood and stuff?”

Me~ “Not exactly.”

Having a curious daughter who is learning from the examples she sees in her daily life is an absolute blessing. She is more aware of the way I act, talk, and treat others and she does the same in turn.

Her questions this morning had me wondering if I am living authentically and honestly every day? I started reflecting on my actions and my words and finding that I need to do some work. I am honest 100% of the time, but that honesty can be a little much. I might express my disappointment in someone’s actions without thinking about why they are acting that way. I might be a little too honest about the new jeans someone bought and hurt their feelings. Or I might give advice to someone that creates an action that was not even close to what I was thinking.

So I need to do some work. I need to remember when to just listen, when to be heard, and to make sure I have enough of a back story before I go rambling off on someone. My legacy will be rich with honesty because that’s such an important part of what I’m creating. In a world where you have to be cautious about every single word coming out of your mouth, an honest person will struggle and not say anything at all. A person a little less honest will just say what they think people want to hear. And a person who wants harmony all the time will not be as honest just to keep the peace.

A legacy can be fame and fortune or hope and healing, but you will never feel so rich or so empowered if you don’t feel honest.

What will your legacy be?

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