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Most everyone wants recognition for doing something meaningful. We so often look beyond our immediate circle when we celebrate the legacy of heroes. Yet, there are heroes in our midst or who were once in our midst. As I write this blog today, Oct 10, I celebrate the legacy of one of my heroes, my grandmother, Jessie Mae. She lived nearly 90 years, and today she would have been 98 years old had she lived. Yet, somehow she is as alive today as ever. Her legacy keeps her alive. My grandmother is physically gone, but her presence resonates whenever I say, “Mark my words.” My granddaughters get to know their great-great-grandmother when they’re admonished, “You don’t believe water is wet, fire burns, or fat meat is greasy.” I grew up with adages like these. Whenever we grumbled about our living conditions, she’d say, “If you live in a tent alongside a riverbed, make it home.” Whenever one of us speaks her pearls of wisdom or anecdotes with our children, my grandmother’s essence manifests into the lives of us all. 

 

My grandmother lived life on purpose and with purpose. As a result, she left our family a rich and lasting legacy. “Don’t die old, die empty. That’s the goal of life. The value of life is not in its duration, but its donation.” Myles Monroe shared this insightful truth days before his plane crashed as he headed to the Bahamas for his annual ministry conference. What a legacy he left. Purposefully, living in the reality that it’s not in the number of our days, which makes the difference. It’s what we’ve made of those days.

 

So, I pose this question to you:

What will others most remember as your contributing deposit to your world? What have you sown into the lives of your circle of family, friends, and communities that will remind them that you were here? What will your circle most miss or cherish about you in your absence?

 

Living life on purpose with a purpose guides us into leaving a life of legacy to a legacy. I encourage each of you to live in such a way that those in your world are richer, better, wiser, healthier, and more enlightened because of your presence. Now, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is this: We will all leave the legacy that we’ve lived. Our circle reaps the benefits or experiences the disappointment of the legacy we’ve created by the life we’ve lived. 

Still, the question remains:

What gift of you remains after your departure? What story will be told after your exit? How are others enriched from the life you’ve lived?

                The legacy of life becomes what we’ve made of it. 

             The beauty–we determine what legacy remains of our lives.

 

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