What’s really interesting, however, is how change happens as a child demonstrates a unique ability to express a given art talent. It could be in music, painting, sculpting, dance, quilting, writing or any other variety of creativity. Their expression of the arts leaves a legacy for those who come behind and create a new tradition.
I have some drawings from my Amish grandfather I cherish. I am not capable of drawing anything that looks remotely like what it’s supposed to! However, put a pen, pencil or computer screen in front of me, I’m compelled to put something on it! It is my desire to leave something for those who come after me, as did my grandfather for me! This would be my legacy to my children, grandchildren and others.
We all have the opportunity to leave a legacy. In fact, it is an option we choose, even if inadvertently, because of we do nothing, that too is a choice. To choose to leave a legacy is to embark on a journey that demonstrates our passions through our gift and contribution to humanity that embraces a cause greater than our own personal desires. It’s about attempting to make a difference in people’s lives even as we live our own, and giving back part of who we are, causing a positive ripple effect in the world around us. It may be seen primarily in our families, but often extends into our communities, and some even the society at large.
Our lives matter, not just for the moment but for generations to come. How we live our lives now, the deposits we make day-to-day, can create a feeling of productiveness and purpose when we live with meaning. This is the best definition of success one can claim. Money and material goods mean nothing in the whole scheme of things. But our lives, and how we touch other lives with an emphasis on value, authenticity, love and honor mean much more than any material accomplishment or recognition we can claim.
Conversely, if we choose to decline to live a life with passion or even purpose beyond the materialist gains we can make, we choose to deny future generations the gift of our talents, but rather leave a picture of selfishness and self-centeredness that is rarely considered or remembered with favor.
So I challenge you to consider first how you live your life. Will future generations remember a person who lived life with zest, purpose and passion? Or will the memories be tinged with a touch of sadness for the life lived regrettably without a desire to better our world through values, talents, kindness, generosity and positive contributions, that reverberated through our communities, families, children or grandchildren?