Monday, March 19, 2012

The Power In Our Legacy

Today, I heard a new phrase....Citizen Leaders.

My first thought was that it is simply another fancy name for Revolutionists.  A word I like very much.  VERY much.  It was used in a video of TED Talks with Katherine Fulton.  If you have never watched one of these, I would highly recommend checking them out.  If nothing else, they expose you to various ideas, and that is NEVER a bad thing (in my humble opinion).  At the end of her talk, she gently touched on legacy.  She was ever so slightly emotional.  It was difficult to watch, and of course I went back and re-watched that part.

It got me to thinking...

What is it about our legacy that chokes us all up so much in simply thinking about it?  In fact, a lot of people will not even discuss simply because it DOES choke them up so much.  In fact, it is not something I ever gave a lot of thought to in my own life until I had to do my trust. 

I am not going to laud the importance of having trusts in this day and age due to taxes, probate and the like, but let me just say...they are money well spent.  That is all.

I digress...

When I finally bit the bullet around seven years ago and started my trust, I was naive.  I thought I would be done in a matter of weeks, and I was an idiot.  I had an excellent trust attorney, lauded as one of the best in Arkansas (and beyond).  As such, they worked me over with questions, checklists, etc.  I was worn out by the initial consultation meeting.  I mean, I am a single girl, what could there possibly be to this?  A lot.  A whole hell (sorry) of a lot.  I mean at least when you are married, you should know who you are giving everything to, including the power, but when you are single??  Then there are the POAs, Health Proxys, etc.  Good grief. 

The most important question you must ask yourself in the process of creating your trust is legacy.  What do you want your legacy to be?  Do you even have a legacy?  I was thrown and stuck on the latter.  Legacy?  I had no husband and no kids.  My family was a dysfunctional mess (and that was being kind).  I not only didn't feel I had a legacy, but when I thought about it too long...I would find myself slightly ill.

One day, after shoving my trust to the bottom of my to do pile for far too long, I went and hibernated away and dug in on the question of my legacy.  It was daunting, excruciating, eye-opening, mind-numbing, depressing, exhilarating, and about a dozen other combination of emotions I'd rather not discuss. :)  All of that said, I realized that I did in fact have a legacy, but even more so, I had a legacy that was in-process, and I needed to get serious about it.


I say all of this to say that legacy is important for each and every one of us...no matter our sex, age, socio-economic status, religion, marital status, etc.  We all live.  We all die.  Legacy is the beautiful convergence of the life we live and how that life is recalled when we die.  Legacy is a powerful motivator.

Hmmm...

I wonder why we don't hear legacy used much in advertising, marketing, churches, schools, etc.  I mean it is some, but not to the degree one would imagine it could be.  Considering that everyone has one, it is the ultimate common denominator for us all.

What is your legacy?  You have one...if even by default.  *Sigh*


Legacy is a powerful motivator. 

“We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.” ~ David Brower  

*Well, this post was going to be about Citizen Leaders, but of course, my fingers had other ideas....I know it is hard to believe, but when I start typing...it just flows in one fluid motion.  I could stop it, but why? This is a lot more fun...at least for me. :)))

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

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