What Will Be Your Legacy?
Posted on April 9, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
In a recent conversation with my son, only 33, he asked me, “What will be your legacy when you die?” First of all, the dying part threw me back, because sometimes I feel I’m just warming up toward the peak of my career goals, and yet, the question hit me like a ton of bricks and then the reality hit even harder. After that, I was depressed.
When I think of any legacy, what comes to mind are the super-human, successful and intelligent contributors to humanity of which the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Abe Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, and Steve Jobs have all left their famous footprints. Those are mighty big shoes to fill. These are people who have changed the course of mankind in one way or another. Will my legacy, if any, change the course of mankind? I don’t think so, and yet I’m still around, so I’m not ruling it out. You never know.
Even the devilish monsters of history have left a legacy, albeit a negative one, but they have reminded us how fragile life is, the lessons we learned from their tyranny, and how we can safeguard ourselves today. Of course, I’m speaking of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Genghis Khan, and John Gacy, to name a few, unfortunately. Sadly, more and more evildoers surface from time to time continually proving [to me] that the devil does, indeed, exist.
So, back to leaving my own legacy…perhaps for the meek and humble of the earth, we leave legacies in smaller, but significant ways. I hope mine will be my sense of humor, my unique artistic skills, my Herda Rumor News Letter for my family, making pancakes with my grandchildren in the morning at my house, being a good daughter to aging parents, being a good mother. All this is only known to my nearest and dearest of course, not the world.
As for my working career, I’d like to leave a different kind of legacy. One that doesn’t include death – I hope! Legacy in this instance means leaving a job for another or retirement. Could I be the one who made a difference by my contributions to the firm? In what ways? Perhaps one of my legacies, which I like to boast, was a new way to merge foreign languages into a single template and then saving them as individual language files. It saved the company a lot of money by not having to hire outside services and employing the rest of the staff to assist by copying and pasting each line into a single document. But is it enough for a true legacy? By definition, a legacy is the following:
legacy (ˈlɛɡəsɪ) —n, pl-cies: 1. a gift by will, esp of money or personal property: 2. something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor
I’d like to think that it is – at least it is an important contribution until technology finds a way to do it better. I believe everyone leaves a legacy behind, perhaps not as popular as the historical greats that I mentioned above, but in some small way, we all contribute. In the film, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, the message was clear that even a single man’s existence makes a huge difference in the lives around him.
So, now I ask you, what will be your legacy?