What do you want to be your legacy? A question that arises regularly when successful people being interviewed, or shall I say, as everybody does podcasts these days, it’s the question that comes at the end.
Is it necessary to leave a legacy? Or isn’t it a need, as we want to feel immortal and we can’t die without the thought that something of us will survive or be remembered. Hence, is legacy a big ego driver or is it a motivator for us to use our talents and passions in a way for the greater good?
Norman Cousins wrote an intriguing piece related to legacy:
“What is the eternal and ultimate problem of a free society?
It is the problem of the individual who thinks that one man cannot possibly make a difference in the destiny of that society.
It is the problem of the individual who doesn’t really understand the nature of a free society or what is required to make it work.
It is the problem of the individual who has no comprehension of the multiplying power of single but sovereign units.
It is the problem of the individual who regards the act of pulling a single lever in a voting booth in numerical terms rather than historical terms.
It is the problem of the individual who has no real awareness of the millions of bricks that had to be put into place, one by one, over many centuries, in order for him to dwell in the penthouse of freedom. Nor does he see any special obligation to those who continue building the structure or to those who will have to live in it after him, for better or worse.
It is the problem of the individual who recognizes no direct relationship between himself and the decisions made by government in his name. Therefore, he feels no special obligation to dig hard for the information necessary to an understanding of the issues leading to those decisions.
In short, freedom’s main problem is the problem of the individual who takes himself lightly historically.”
Life is a partnership of those who are dead, those alive and those yet to be born. If you are interested in the concept of energies’ in quantum physics you will agree that everything is energy and everything is connected. Consequently, the smallest action we do shape some sort of legacy for the people around around us and the wider circle of people we are connected too. I like that thought as it takes the concept of legacy from an egoistic thinking to a thinking of service which doesn’t ignore the individual. Its caring with conscience. It means linking action with reflection.
The Latin root of the word legacy is legatus which translate to ambassador and while personally, I couldn’t care less if somebody remembers me when I am dead, I think we all can be ambassadors of being, living and life.