August is, “What will be your Legacy,” month. Have you thought about what you want yours to be? The formal definition of the word legacy is an amount of money or property left to someone in a will. Typically, the most important aspect of a legacy is considered the money and property you leave behind. These are very important and making an estate plan for your money and property definitely is a part of your legacy. However, legacy can mean so much more if you consider the second definition. Legacy is also what has been transmitted by or received through an ancestor or predecessor. Here the definition of legacy expands. It introduces the concept that legacy goes well beyond the bequeathing of property or money. What do you want your legacy to be?
Here are examples of legacies that go beyond property and finances.
- A dedication to serve others through public service such as serving as a firefighter, police officer or as a member of the armed forces.
- A commitment to loving and supporting family members through the good, bad, and ugly or life.
- Being merciful to forgive.
- Being a compelling advocate in service to those who need advocates: disabled, disenfranchised, children, the elderly, etc.
- Loving your neighbor as yourself.
The list is endless of qualities, characteristics, and actions that will become our legacy. Now, contemplate what you think your legacy would be today. Then take some time to think about what you would like your legacy to be. This is a great way to make a change in your life. If you look at your current legacy and find that it is not what you want it to be, you can start today making the legacy you want to pass down to future family members, friends and the community-at-large.
To help you get started thinking about your legacy here are just a few quotes about leaving a legacy.
Quotes about Leaving a Legacy
- “All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.” —Jim Rohn
- “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” —Shannon L. Alder
- “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” —Benjamin Franklin