Pin It leg·a·cy [leg-uh-see] n. plural -cies. What one leaves behind; their gift to others.
I was asked by a friend, not long ago, what I would want to be remembered by—you know, my legacy.
I didn’t respond. Not because I didn’t think her question warranted an answer, but rather because I found myself becoming deeply lost in this topic. After all, when I thought of a legacy, I was somewhat at a loss. Just what would be my offering to the world and those that I love? What is it that I would want others to conjure up when they dig into the past annals of memory where I am someplace buried after I’ve departed?
My mind drew up a blank—as blank as—well, words fail me; I was just blank. I thought of the various things that this legacy could be, and realized that I simply had no idea.
When I was a kid, more than anything I wanted to be a movie star, and be able to leave a pop-culture ridden life behind for others to envy. People would watch “Star Trek—The Next Generation” and see me as the intrepid child star—who cared about that Will Wheaton kid when they could’ve had me? Back then, that seemed to be a pretty good legacy to leave behind. After all, popularity is always a good thing, right?
With the passing of a year or two, I found myself instead thinking of legacy in an entirely different matter. I would be a writer. A writer whose books were so popular that sales were only trumped by that the Bible itself—after all, I didn’t want to become more popular than deity.
The years moved onward, and I again found that I was again changing.
One day, I decided to be a teacher.
Why? Oh, there’s a whole story behind that…one I have hinted at and mentioned before. And it becoming rapidly late, I don’t wish to reiterate it here and now. Suffice it to say, I became a teacher.
But what about your legacy, Teachinfourth?
Ah, yes. There is that question again…
Today I think of the students I teach year to year; those I try to make a difference in their lives. I thought of my family members and the friends that I love. I thought of my long excursions out on vast deserts. I thought of my faith. I thought about my photography. I thought about my writing.
Then it came to me. It’s not what I leave behind when the days of tomorrow have passed, but it’s what I am living today…my living legacy. That ‘gift’ which I give back to the world, the heirloom I pass down to as many as I can—
I am a teacher.