Since I read the news about Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected death, I found myself saddened by it and at the same time awed by the real life hero he was. He had lived his life to the fullest and played those roles people all over the world enjoyed through treatment sessions. And having spent time with family during their cancer treatment, I know how tough it would have been. But we never knew as we watched and enjoyed The Black Panther or other movies. Boseman lived his legacy indeed. And I found myself wondering about what I was doing to live my legacy as well as thinking about the legacies loved ones have left behind.
Legacies of Lost Loved Ones
This news reminded me of others I had lost and the legacies they lived. My dad, my father-in-law, my grandparents, so many loved ones, as well as those others who come into our lives, and who left their imprints on those around them. And shaped me into who I am in numerous ways.
While I miss those lost loved ones, one of the things that comforts me is the immense legacy they left behind – the memories, the joy they spread everywhere, the lives they touched. Each of them certainly lived their legacies; and I can only hope to do at least an iota of what they accomplished. (repeating myself here slightly from an earlier post)
I talk about the lessons my dad taught me in this post(written shortly before he passed away); and that is what he left in me.
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Living Our Legacies
So how can we live our legacies? Based on the lives of those I know who live their legacies each day, and those who have since passed away but lived their lives to the fullest, here is what I think will help me live my legacy:
Believe You Matter & Be You
First, we need to believe that we matter. That everything we do matters, in one way or the other, to the world around us, to those around us. And then, make it happen. Know that each one of us is unique and has a role to play in the world.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr.Seuss
Be You and Be True to Yourself
Practice what you preach; and that goes a long way. I definitely know that the qualities I picked from my parents and grandparents were those that they lived each day (and they did practice what they preached!.
. “You make your mark by being true to who you are and letting that be your staple.” —Kat Graham
Living even our everyday life with passion will fill life with energy – your own life and that of those around you. And if you find a purpose and a passion, a thing that makes you you, then even better.
And living that purposeful, passion-filled life will inspire others around you, because remember:
“To the world you may just be someone, but to someone you may be the whole world.”
(not sure who to attribute the above quote to – I see Dr.Seuss, Bill Wilson, and others to whom this quote is attributed in various places)
And Then Be a Better You
Identifying your passion and purpose, and pursuing them is one wonderful way to live your legacy. Identifying what can make you a better you, and working on it a little each day, is another. This is another way to practice what you preach. In the process, there is progress too!
Know That Everything Counts
Every action – from the seemingly “everyday” mundane to that wondrous thing we manage to do – makes an impact. And like the actions of others shapes the world in ways big and small, our actions do too.
A smile, a small kindness, a helping hand, a routine everyday task, that first cup of coffee or chai you brew for yourself and a loved one, even that toast you burned as you picked up the phone to chat with a friend..
I was always awed with my dad’s ease in making strangers feel like family and making them feel better no matter how they were a second before they met him. And I hope that is one of the everythings I can make a part of my life as well.
“To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Share Stories and Make Memories
I always wish that I had recorded (in writing at least) more of the life stories of my grandparents than I currently know. It is such a wonderful legacy to pass on to the next generation. And I know I am going to ensure I have more stories of my parents to pass on. In the process, I will also share stories of our lives with the kids.
“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.” —Steve Saint
And make new memories worth sharing as stories to pass on for the future.
Live Your Legacy
So, live life to the fullest, by being the best-you everyday; and you are living your legacy!! For legacy is not something you leave to the world, it is how you live in the world….
“You have no idea what your legacy will be. Your legacy is what you do everyday. Your legacy is every life you’ve touched, every person whose life was either moved or not. It’s every person you’ve harmed or helped, that’s your legacy.” – Maya Angelou
Books I Will Read to Help Me
Some of the books I have read in the past that I know will help me, as well as other new discoveries that I am yet to read are below:
- Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
- Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly
- Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives