February 2020: Legacy

ripple effect

We all have an urge to create. To put our stamp on the world. To leave a legacy.

I learned this from Nick, a friend with whom I’d recently reunited. He had become a priest, serving as a hospital chaplain.

Sitting in Madison Square Park, we caught up over coffee from the Mud Truck one spring afternoon. I was fascinated by the sheer amount of time he had spent with dying people; more than anyone else I knew at our age.

I asked, “What’s the one biggest takeaway you have from being around people at the end of life?”

He answered, “We all have an urge to create. Not necessarily to have kids, although that’s one way. We all want to leave a legacy.”

Nick’s insight stayed with me, and resurfaces every time I feel that creative urge. As someone who has never desired to procreate, I now see creativity differently.

I give myself permission for my businesses or books to take up extra time and attention, because they are channels for my impact on the world.

I take seriously the ripple effect my words or actions have on others, from one on one conversations to volunteer work to what we publish on this site.

I tell my friends who are in the early throes of parenting and feeling reluctant to pull back on community commitments for awhile: don’t feel guilty. You are focusing their legacy on the people who need it most.

What legacy are you creating?

Strategy & Style,

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