Legacy Defined

The average person lives roughly 70 years.  70 years is 25,550 days.  25,550 days is 613,200 hours.  Doesn’t seem that long does it, but generally speaking, we all get this deal when we arrive.  It’s about the max you can bet on.

Of that allotted time to us, some capitalize and create Legacies.  Some Legacies are created over the entire 613,000+ hours, some created in seconds.  Some Legacy’s are tributes to exceptional human beings; some are scathing reminders of bad decisions.  Some Legacies inspire people to take powerful action, some teach hurtful, fear inspiring lessons.

At best, a Legacy can only populate around a 500 page book.  An entire life, 613,000 hours, in 500 pages.  And at best, most people wouldn’t ever bother reading such a book.  At best, most people are going to settle for a Wikipedia page version.  (But only because it may take 613,000 hours to read a 500 page book…)

So, 613,000 hours spent on earth – some hours spent possibly shaping or altering humanity for centuries – summed up on a single web page.

A lifetime, that dented history, summed up between two HTML tags.

It’s absolutely fascinating.

Let’s investigate.

A Legacy has life, and a Legacy is timeless.  It has a sense of character, and makes itself known.  A Legacy tells a story.  A Legacy has purpose, and just as us, Legacy’s are flawed.

Legacies can enrich or haunt.  Remembering the Legacy of Gandhi can inspire many to act peacefully.  Remembering the Legacy of Hitler may cause pain.  Remembering the Legacy of Mother Theresa can trigger enrichment in one’s life, while others it may trigger a feeling of not doing enough.

Some Legacies are double-edged swords.  Remembering the Legacy of Ronald Reagan instills pride and love in some, shame and displeasure in others.  Similarly, President Obama’s.

Legacies can even differ by location.  Here in Las Vegas, the Mafia’s Legacy is mostly celebrated, although in other parts of the country, frowned upon.  The United States Legacy is vastly different across the continents of the world.

Legacies are never created the same.  Some people do everything in their power to create a Legacy for themselves, others create theirs by following their passions, and what they consider right.  Donald Trump defined a much different Legacy than say Princess Diana did.

As such, Legacy’s aren’t clearly defined, and are rarely set in stone.  They differ, even when involving the same subject.  Over time, it’s very possible Legacy’s could be skewed.  Additionally, considering time is infinite, how long would it take to unwind a Legacy?

What has been forgotten, or misrepresented in popular Legacies?  Perhaps Plato was a real jerk.  Abraham Lincoln could have always had terrible breath.  Somewhere on the ethereal plane, there is a disgruntled soul complaining that Jesus owes him $12.  (Dogma movie reference.)  Legacy’s are equally defined by the teller and beholder; and you can be certain they are missing plenty of bits and pieces.

Legacy’s can change by the moment, and can attach to anything.  Prior to the 1940’s, Adolf was a very popular name.  Now, I’m not so certain it’s used much.  The Legacy of that name has some feelings associated with it.

Likewise, the Legacy of the Rainbow is now associated with Gay and Lesbian culture.  Prior, it was a universal symbol of sunshine and happiness, while also a guide for leprechauns to find their gold.  People who disagree with the Gay and Lesbian lifestyle are now turned off by rainbows, and most have come to the conclusion that leprechauns aren’t that forgetful with their assets.

Nonetheless, what will your Legacy be?  What will be remembered about you?  I invite you to start defining your Legacy, today.  Right this instant.  How will you be remembered?

Your Legacy could be created mere minutes after reading this.  In fact, it may already be in motion.  Some of your Legacy may already be written, some already lost.  Perhaps, some already skewed.

So my readers… Go forth!  Create!  And define the substance between your HTML tags.

“By asking ourselves how we want to be remembered, we plant the seeds for living our lives as if we matter.  By living each day as if we matter, we offer up our own unique Legacy.  By offering up our own unique Legacy, we make the world we inhabit a better place than we found it.”

– James Kouzes and Barry Posner