Life offers many opportunities to shape our legacy. Our living legacy is giving the gift of our time while we’re here.
“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” – Billy Graham
What is our legacy?
Our legacy is the direct result of the words we speak and things that we do, that leave a lasting impression on others. The cumulative impact of our words and actions on the lives of others forms an integral part of our legacy.
Defining your living legacy
The quote from the late evangelist Billy Graham reminds us that our legacy is defined by what we do when we think no one is watching, and what others say about us when they observe us interacting with others in either a social or professional setting. In short, it’s our living legacy that is both appreciated and remembered during our life. We’re creating our legacy every day of our lives.
In my younger years, I believed the term legacy referred to giving in the form of anything handed down to family members after death; a gift of money, property, or a bequest. Sure, we can will these gifts to others in our estate. But we shouldn’t minimize the importance of giving the gift of our time while we are alive.
Giving throughout your life
Many individuals are adopting the practice of giving to others throughout their life. They gain a tremendous sense of satisfaction from seeing how their gift has helped to make a difference in the lives of others. Today’s youth view life differently than past generations and appear to be keenly socially aware. Self-awareness and social awareness are both core competencies of emotional intelligence and play an integral role in developing an impactful life and living legacy; one that encourages a life of giving of oneself in support of others.