On his seventy-fifth birthday, people from all over the world congratulated Jacques Cousteau. The famous and not so famous turned out in the thousands to celebrate his work. Characteristically, he focused on the future. He is quoted as saying, “I see something I want to do and I have to do it.”
In 1985, George Burns made a generous gift to establish the George Burns Intensive Care Unit at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital. He continued his care and compassion through a living trust. It is the benevolent spirit of Mr. Burns that the Motion Picture & Television Fund honors. George Burns’s dedication to the human condition of those in his beloved “show business” is memorialized through the George Burns Legacy Society.
There is a lot to learn from what these famous people have been able to create. “Ordinary” people are also outstanding models of the creative process. With imagination, courage, and commitment, we can rise above doubt, fear, and insecurity to achieve extraordinary levels of personal fulfillment.
My mother, Corelli Watermon, left a legacy through her music. A professional violinist and singer, she graduated from the Harrisburg Conservatory of Music.
How about a legacy of habit? Whatever we do on a regular basis has potential for becoming a “habit” or legacy. For some, eating fast food on a daily basis can be the habit. Others might only make everything from scratch. We all need to be aware that we are teaching our children by our example.
Or a legacy of health? Many people’s ideas of what is “healthy” vary drastically. If you never exercise, your children are most likely not going to envision themselves exercising as an adult. This kind of legacy can be dangerous to their health and to ours. I think of myself as a work in progress, especially in this area of my life.
One of the Legacies I’m most passionate about is Work Ethic. I want to leave a legacy of strong work ethic, which ultimately comes from having a vision for what you are accomplishing and an innate drive to compel you to take action and get it done. I personally believe that work ethic is not something that is taught, but modeled, like the love for reading or writing. What are some practical ways you can leave a legacy?