As we celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, I would like to ask the question, “What is the legacy that you would like to be remembered for in the years to come”? We all would agree that Dr. King’s legacy is that he fought for freedom, justice and equality. Legacy can be defined as what is handed down from generation to generation. Keeping that definition in mind, we can assume that those who are considered wealthy will leave trust funds, estates and money, etc. to their heirs. What about those who may be impoverished and have nothing tangible to leave other than their good reputation?
Money is eventually depleted (sometimes quickly AND frivolously) and may cause rifts within families or cause feuds between business partners. Lack of money has caused many marriages to dissolve. I would dare to say that a person that is noble, trust-worthy, kind and of good character is richer than the man or woman of great means. You may wonder how I’ve come to that conclusion. My answer is simple: if you take into consideration that the wealthy often have difficulty distinguishing between those who only spend time with them for financial gain and those who genuinely care. By contrast, the person who has no finances to offer will joyfully discover that those in their circle of influence are there because they actually desire to be in their presence, with no strings attached and no ulterior motive. THAT is what happiness looks like to me.
I posted recently on my Facebook page that ‘money may not buy happiness, but enough of it can make you smile’, so let me clearly state that I don’t think money is evil! (smile) I may not be in a position to leave millions of dollars to my children and grandchildren, but I hope I’ve deposited love, grace, compassion and kindness into them. That would be a great legacy…one that will be remembered long after I’m gone and something they will hopefully pass along to their children.
Embrace this truth: Let love and kindness be your legacy.