Leaving a Legacy

 

Part of our plexus is our legacy. Or it can be. Are you creating one? Are you leaving one?

First of all, what is a legacy? The dictionary defines legacy in two areas: a gift that is left for someone after death of the donor (such as by a will), or something that is transmitted to the future for the benefit of the recipient (as in teachings, reputation, example, etc.).

So first of all we need to ask whether we want to leave a legacy. Or have we already created one? What is it, or what do we want it to be? Will it be for the good of our descendents (family), or will it be for everyone? Do you want to be remembered by your family for something you did or contributed? You are leaving a legacy. We may be remembered for something that was not of our choosing. Do you want to pick what your legacy will be? It’s really something worth thinking about.

Part of my plexus is writing. I mentioned in my bio that editing my father’s autobiography stirred an interest in me for writing. It made me think about what my father had done, before I knew him. It helped me get to know who he really was. I realized that I wanted to leave a legacy that will help my children (and grandchildren) be able to look back someday and understand what was important to me, what I stood for, what I hoped to pass on to them. Somehow those discussions just never come up easily. And sometimes discussing them comes across as preaching. So rather than create tension it is easier to avoid them.

I’ve noticed in my medical practice that patients read fiction (vs. nonfiction) by a large margin. Fiction entertains, but yet has the capacity to influence and inspire through its underlying themes and message. Fiction can be powerful in changing people’s lives. I realized it could be a useful tool to leave a legacy.

My father’s legacy includes his love of scripture and his faith in God. His favorite quotation was always Proverbs 3: 5,6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” He continued to quote those verses deep into his dementia. He doesn’t volunteer them anymore, but he lights up and says them along with someone else who is quoting them. Those words were the theme of his autobiography and how he lived his life. Those verses became the heart of his legacy.

My first novel, MARK OF THE FIRE, is dedicated to my father. I’ve used Proverbs 3: 5,6 as the theme, as a tribute to my father. Trusting God for direction leads to forgiveness and healing.

So what is your legacy? What do you want it to be? Are you working to make that aspect of your life part of your plexus? Tell us about it?