What does your life say about you? What will be your legacy? What exactly is legacy?
Is it how you lived your life? Yes, your actions shape your legacy.
Is it how you will be remembered? Yes, it will be what others remember about your words and actions that carry your legacy through the generations.
Does it change with each storyteller? It often does. However, if you have been consistent, each storyteller will have a similar theme that represents the positive aspects of humanity.
Let’s be honest though; you really do not have control as to what people write or say about you when you’re gone.
So, should you live your whole life worrying about what everybody thinks of you? No. Just be the best you that you can be, until the very end.
If you are lucky enough, you will live a long life. In that long life, you will make mistakes, probably more than once. You will choose the wrong path, whether it’s for a moment or a decade. You will break someone’s heart with your words or actions. You will say the wrong thing. You will speak when you should have stayed silent. You will stay silent when you should have spoken up. You will have walked away when you should have stayed. You will have stayed when you should have walked away. You will have angered a parent, child, or both. You will have disappointed a parent, child, or both. You will have done all of these things. You will have done them because you are human.
“You have no control: who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” ~Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Who Tells Your Story?
If we are all human, then why do we judge others with such scrutiny? What causes this? Judgment of another occurs when their words or actions do not match your current beliefs. Judgment sometimes occurs when you are trying to impress others and not being your authentic self. Judgment is sometimes the domino effect of your loved one being physically or emotionally hurt. Judgment also happens because we are human.
Have you noticed how we portray our own lives to the world? We share the happy events, conveniently omit the bad ones, and padlock the door to the immoral or devastating moments. What if more people knew about the bad ones and then unlocked the padlock to your hidden secrets? Have you ever thought about what people would say about you then?
It is often said that our life is a book. So, what happens when our story is read aloud? We will not be in control. The storytellers will get to choose which chapters to share. Will the book ultimately end with love and redemption? Isn’t that what life is about?
Should we judge the entire life of another based on their worst mistakes? Think about it. Would you want to be judged for yours?
Does that mean that we should forgive and forget? Yes. Should we forgive and remember? Yes. It isn’t always about accepting the other person’s words or actions. Forgiveness is really for your own peace and happiness.
Should we give people a second chance? Hopefully, yes. However, I realize that it may depend on the circumstances and the amount of “second chances” that someone has been given.
Don’t we all want a second chance to make things right though? I truly believe that everyone is given a second chance. It may not be with the same person, situation, or event, but the underlying lesson will be the same. The key is to recognize it, learn the lesson, and keep moving.
I have often wondered if our own legacy is affected by the harsh judgment that we have towards others. What does it say about us when our lives consist of anger, jealousy, and hypocrisy? My hope is that every person is able to fill their heart with joy, gratitude, and empathy before they leave this Earth.
“Legacy. What is legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” ~Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
What seeds are you planting? How do you want to be remembered? What will be your legacy?