MISSOURI, June 17, 2017 – When we think of legacy, we think of what we might inherit. Depending on their orientation, our heirs might be thinking “How much will he leave me in his will?”
We do tend to think of material goods, stocks, and bonds, property holdings as evidence of our lives. From the viewpoint of one who is nearing the end of his earthly life, he or she will give great consideration to the gifts to be given to the next generation.
From the moment we become parents, aunts, uncles, friends we begin to think of what we might pass down to our children and grandchildren.
There will be the usual things like house and property or monetary wealth. There are special things, or family mementos, included in your lists like a favorite brooch handed down from a grandmother or a special pocket watch that belonged to your grandfather, that are the true heirlooms of our lives, regardless of monetary value.
They are life’s special treasures because of who they come from and what they mean.
Material wealth and things are wonderful and desirable, however, just for a moment, think of your legacy in a different way. Have you lived an honorable life? Then you pass on the gift of integrity. If you have endured through much trial and self-sacrifice, then you pass on the gift of perseverance.
My grandfather passed on a strong work ethic. My Grandmother faith and love of the Bible. In inheritance’s that I have always found to be priceless. A teacher has passed on the gift of knowledge to students. A nurse, doctor or others that may have been in the medical field, demonstrating great concern and care for those who are suffering give the gift of kindness and empathy every day.
Perhaps you have been “just a mother,” but your years of staying home with the children has given them a stable home life. In this shaky world in which we live, that is saying a lot, and I think God probably has special rewards for this kind of mother.
Character, integrity, a strong work ethic, faithfulness, good citizenship, good sportsmanship, a good sense of humor, a love for music, joy, faith are all part of the legacy we can leave for those who follow us.
With personal introspection, you will realize that despite material wealth you will leave a valuable inheritance to your children, but first, you must tell them the things you have learned from life, the values you hold dear, the stories from your past. Invite them for dinner, or lemonade on the porch, and share your stories. It is never too late to start a journal, tape record your stories or start a column, as I have.
The time you share in telling the stories will be precious to your loved ones after you are gone. Be willing to invest yourselves in people and you will be rewarded richly.Our “legacy” is defined as a gift of personal property by will, but it is also the gifts of character, joy, laughter, love that we give to those that are in our lives. We must seize the opportunities in the present that God gives us to influence our world and then look to the future with hope and faith.
However, that’s from a time and place I am from.
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