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  • Writer's pictureEllen Krohne

Legacy - What Will Yours Be?

Leaving a legacy means different things to each of us.

To some, a legacy is leaving money or property to their heirs.

To others, it is about the lasting impact they leave on the world when they leave it. This could be a body of work for a writer or actor, a farmer knowing he’s fed many people, or an entrepreneur who built a successful company and then established a foundation or not for profit.

Legacy can mean the special stories and legends of their family, passed down through the generations. The history that made the family unique.

A legacy can also be one’s reputation and character. The example you set with your actions to guide others that can encourage and impact future generations.

All these definitions of legacy imply a gift that is passed down through the generations, to family or to the broader world.

What will your legacy be?

When in the world of work, I thought my legacy might be helping break the glass ceiling for women in the utility industry. Or, being known for my business acumen or coaching skills. Out of the world of work, these things quickly became just my past, not my legacy.

Perhaps an example of kindness to my grandchildren is enough? I am surely still struggling with this question.

I do know that I love Maya Angelou’s definition of legacy:

Think of every life you’ve touched. When I do this, some days my touch would be in ways I would not want to be remembered. Rude to that store clerk. Grumpy to my husband. Unkind to my friend. Judgmental of my neighbor. I’m not proud of these days.

Thinking about legacy does make me think about my actions, and try harder to interact with everyone in a kind, positive, loving manner. Try is the operative word, though. A work in progress, right?

What will your legacy be?

Another part of legacy is how we remember others who we grieve - how we keep a loved one and the special gifts they gave us alive. A few ideas for ways to do this:

1. Keep traditions they loved alive. Baking sugar cookies at Christmas made my mom so happy and I can feel her next to me each year when I bake them.

2. Tell their stories. At family gatherings, my brothers and sisters invariably tell the old, silly escapades of our family (slightly more exaggerated each telling!) These stories help us to remember generations before us.

3. Do what they loved. By using a skill that a loved one taught you and had a passion for, we honor their legacy. My Aunt Loretta taught me to quilt, and my grand children love to make their mark by stitching on my creations.

4. Do good in their name. Most of us don’t have the finances to donate large sums of money to charities to honor our loved ones, but all of us have the means to donate what we can, help to fundraise, or volunteer our time to a good cause in their name.

By honoring the legacy of someone we loved and lost, perhaps we can help to build our own legacy.

What will your legacy be?

Welcome to the journey to uncover your gift to the future.

Be Blessed,


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