Leaving a Legacy of Generosity
It has been said that we make a living by what we get in life and that we make a life by what we give. Leaving a legacy can simply be learning to be a generous giver of time, efforts, talents and so on. When the word “legacy” is mentioned, we must think beyond the dictionary definition. Though, I must admit, I had never really considered my relationship to this word or its concept.
Although the legal world views a legacy as something tangible, legacy can be something we live, not simply the things we leave behind. Sometimes this legacy is intentionally or unintentionally from one generation to another in forms of beliefs, values, memories, forgiveness given and forgiveness received. You can choose to have generosity as a core value and be part of the legacy you live and the legacy you leave.
I was challenged to think about my legacy of generosity after losing a dear friend a few years ago. I said goodbye to her and will long remember her as an heir to a great legacy: a champion for those who had none; the soul of friendship and, yes, challenges. A friend whose memory graces many across several states and beyond. Her spirit of resilience and good humor would see her through a life of gratitude most of us will ever know.
So, I challenge you to think about your own legacy of generosity. In doing so, it may influence the way you choose to live and work. It may inspire you to dig deeper and climb higher and examine your life’s p urpose and move toward a greater service of generosity.
We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials of misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us. What we can do is live our lives as best as we can with purpose, with love and joy.
We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care and treat others with kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all cost to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back at our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.
I encourage you to share your stories, time and talents with the next generation and together make memories that will become a generous model for the following generations.
And that, my friends, can be your gift of generosity — your legacy.
~ Written by Thelma Todd, a volunteer at Hope Lodge.