The first time I was asked about my legacy was last year. I was working for lululemon athletica at the time and one of my managers asked me the following questions: “What do you want to be remembered for when you move on from this role? What is your legacy?” It was a big question and I really didn’t have the answer. I had to really think about what it was she was actually asking me. Over the weeks following the conversation, the question really stuck with me and I began to consider what it meant for our legacies in every aspect of life.
Last week legacy came up in a more personal, reflective way. Attending a family funeral and sitting in the front row at the service, I was initially oblivious to the amount of people in the church. It was when we walked out at the end of the service that I realized the church was full. People were standing in every corner and there was little space to move. As I connected with family and friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for years, I was struck again by our life legacy - what is it that we leave behind when we move on from a place, a relationship, a job or indeed our life.
In my experience the legacy we leave with people can be based on a five second interaction or a lifetime of sharing. We can never underestimate the impact we have on people. The ripple effect of who we are being leaves an impression on individuals and also in turn on their community. As I listened to stories of my cousin and of the life he created, I wonder if he knew how impactful he actually was and how he still is, even though he is no longer physically present. It leaves me to wonder if any of us really know how far and wide we touch people in a way that inspires, teaches and develops us.
Gandhi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world” speaks loudly to me in this moment. Following my heart, sharing what I know to be true and continuing to be a stand for what inspires me is my legacy. This is the legacy I am committed to sharing in the world. Whether it speaks to one person or 5 million people it really doesn’t matter, what matters is being a stand for my legacy and living it each and every day. And when the days get a little challenging I know that there are people who will inspire me to continue on this journey and re-commit to my legacy. Today I invite you to contemplate your legacy. Who do you want to be in the world and what is your legacy to your community?
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