Legacy…to make a lasting meaningful impact on people, spanning throughout several generations. To leave a legacy is one of the single most important experiences many of us dream about. Presidents talk about legacies, as do athletes, musicians, and celebrities. We should all make it our ambition to leave a lasting legacy for our children, family, and friends. I have heard that as important as success may be to some people, significance is held to a higher standard. To be significant is a key ingredient in leaving a legacy.
I think back to growing up in the 1980’s and 90’s. My dad on a very limited budget did his best to leave a legacy for our family. I am not speaking about money in this case. He left us a legacy of fun memories that no amount of money can buy. He and my mom sacrificed everything for the few things we did have. That is why my Nintendo NES and games meant so much to me. 1 game console for a family of 10, picture that!
When I look at my children, I try my best to emulate the same spirit my dad had towards us. I am blessed to have a blended family. Sure we have our struggles. My wife and I constantly talk about how there really is not a blueprint for all of the issues that come along with a blended family. We are doing our best to leave a better financial legacy for our children than our parents were able to. With that being said though, the most important values we are trying to instill are God, family, and fun.
Blended families many times are looked at with a negative connotation. When kids are products of a divorced home, there are typically issues and pain that traditional homes don’t have to deal with. I believe when my kids struggle with the emotional impact of their past, they strive to loose themselves in video games. My sons play Minecraft, Terreria, and Brawlhala among other titles. I believe they sometimes find peace between the joysticks. When I talk to them, the conversations remind me of my childhood.
Of course I don’t have all of the answers. Legacy is one of those concepts that is mostly subjective. It means different things to different people. But I do believe it is important to leave a legacy for future generations, regardless of wealth or prestige.
The moral of the story: What do you want people to remember you for? If you have kids, do you spend enough time with them? Do they know you? Do they only know your victories, or do you also share your struggles and failures with them? I’m only asking because these are issues I struggle with, and I want to make sure that I am not alone in my struggles.
For my situation, there is beauty in the blend. I want nothing more than to see my 4 children, 10 years from now talk about how much fun they had in their childhood. I pray that they love each other, and discuss their memories with one another. There is so much nostalgia in the phrase “Hey, do you remember back when…?” I hope and pray that you all focus on building and leaving a legacy that lasts for your family. If you don’t have children, legacy is not just limited to biological kids. Kindness to a younger sibling, compassion for foster kids, empathy for the next generation falls under the same umbrella. May we go forth in 2020 and do our best to leave a beautiful legacy for the next generation. -V. R.