At first when I stop to ponder what will my legacy be, I come up with nothing. I think that my life has been unremarkable; I have contributed nothing of great consequence; and, I feel my insignificance. However, in the very next moment once the negativity subsides, I can see more clearly what my legacy might be and what it certainly will not be.
My legacy will not be defined by the money I had or didn't have, nor will it look like the opportunities I had or didn't have. It will not be defined by my mistakes. My legacy will not be that of a loser who has nothing.
I know these statements to be true because I inherited my parents' legacy. They did not have money, so to speak, but they had enough of the stuff to share and care for others. There was always enough to help someone with gas money to get home and other such things. My father knew what it meant to be truly hungry when he was growing up, so he made sure that anyone who came to our house went away full and/or with food in hand. My mother cooked and baked, giving away so much of it with a heart full of love. I was taught that when you give love, people give love back.
My parents were well loved. They might not have had as many opportunities as some people, but when given the opportunity to help and serve and love, they did it. And it was in no small measure. They made room for long-term house guests in a full house—on multiple occasions.
Conversely, my parents provided a perfect model of mistake making, but they also showed me that it could be overcome. They made many mistakes, some of those being significant, and still, the good outweighs the bad tenfold at the very least. People make mistakes, but mistakes are not our legacy. The ability to change, overcome, and succeed despite the mistakes is part of the legacy I received from them. I was given a legacy of compassion on the hungry, needy, and fatherless. They passed down to me the ability to speak the truth. They taught me gospel living. They passed down love.
Since my life is not over just yet, I can't really say what my legacy will be for certain, but I will guess that I will pass down my heart to the world. My hope is that anyone who I have known will come away from this existence with the firm knowledge that I care about them, that I have faith enough to share that theirs might have seed to grow from, and that I have given all that I have to give. My children will be part of this gift. While they might not ever know money or grand opportunity, they will have been given a legacy of love passed from my parents to me and then continuing on to them: love of fellow man, love of learning, love of family, love of beauty in its several forms, love of God.
There have been and will be times when my children are uncertain as to their purpose and value, so I hope they will look to my words and know that they are my legacy, and my legacy will be great. I am destined to greatness and so, too, are they because we know what love looks like and we embrace it every day of our lives. No matter our mistakes, we are not losers. We are strong, we can change when change is necessary, and we will overcome every obstacle.
My legacy will be a legacy of love.
My Legacy: Introduction