“In historical terms, a legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. A historical legacy can be a positive thing or a negative thing.” — Source: Wikipedia
Without exception, everyone leaves a legacy. More accurately, every living person is in the process of “leaving a legacy.” Instead of an end result, a legacy is something that grows and changes continuously with each word we utter and each act we commit. The things we say and do, as well as the things we neglect to say and do become the building blocks of our personal, ever-changing legacy. At any moment, a piece of that legacy has the potential to impact countless other people.
“Some believe all that parents, tutors, and kindred believe. They take their principles by inheritance, and defend them as they would their estates, because they are born heirs to them.” — Alan Watts
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” — US Declaration of Independence
It might seem vain to dwell on one’s own legacy. At the same time, I think it’s necessary for there to be a link between one’s conscience and one’s perception of his personal legacy. Who is being impacted by my legacy? On my final day, will the balance sheet of my legacy be a positive or a negative value? How far will my legacy reach beyond my household? The main theme of the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is about how legacies impact people for generations in ways unimaginable.
“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” — Hodding Carter Jr.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — William Shakespeare
“Property left to a child may soon be lost; but the inheritance of virtue — a good name an unblemished reputation — will abide forever. If those who are toiling for wealth to leave their children, would but take half the pains to secure for them virtuous habits, how much more serviceable would they be. The largest property may be wrested from a child, but virtue will stand by him to the last.” — William Graham Sumner
“The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day.” — M. Grundler
“Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world!” — John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, 1961
“If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.” — Bruce Barton
“The wise shall inherit glory, But shame shall be the legacy of fools.” — Bible, Proverbs 3:35
As parents, we must be concerned about the legacy we are passing down our family tree. As citizens, we need to consider the legacy we are leaving to future generations. It’s an awesome responsibility that’s impossible to avoid. The only choice we are given is the kind of legacy we are making.
© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com