Just recently, the notion of leaving a legacy keeps coming up again and again as I research and write blog posts and stories.
For example, during research for a recent story, I discovered a large oak tree near here (which I’m particularly fond of) was planted sometime around 1870. Planted specifically to shade the house which still stands nearby.
And more recently, writing about climate change, the idea of planting trees and creating carbon sink pond that won’t “mature” for another twenty or thirty years.
When I was about twenty-five, I remember thinking how strange to have lived a decade since I turned fifteen. And of course, my life was nothing like I had imagined it would be.
It’s an even stranger feeling to start thinking about things where I may not live long enough to see the benefit. But I suppose I’m not the only one. Like my friend the oak tree planter.
What is a Legacy?
A tangible or intangible thing handed down by a predecessor; a long-lasting effect of an event or process.Oxford english dictionary
For example, money, books, poetry, thoughts, policies, and trees
The equivalent of carving your name into an Egyptian tomb, Pompeii, or other ruin. Or writing it on the local train station. Only less invasive.
And hopefully something you achieve before someone else carves your name onto a tombstone.
Like many teenagers, and some adults, I wanted to be famous. Though I had no idea what I wanted to be famous for. Probably still don’t.
Leaving a legacy is a bit like wanting to be famous. Except the legacy thing comes through doing something worthwhile with your life. Like planting trees.
Learning a Legacy
Or perhpas a legacy is more about leaving the things you learn.
And while that could be your pizza recipe, it might be better to leave the intangible lessons you’ve learned on resilience, adaptability, and enjoying simple pleasures like sunsets.
So try learning how to better deal with adversity, take joy where you find it, and think about changing the future for the better. And then try teaching the younger generations those skills as well