20 Minutes to Face Your Legacy
This past Saturday, Hawaiians were shocked when they received a warning that an imminent attack via missile would occur. Don’t worry, this is not a political post, or an end times post, or even a post about the government system. This post is about having only 20 minutes to face your Legacy.
I am not sure how many people think about their legacy on a regular basis. I am a person who does. I love the Natalie Grant Song, “Legacy” and Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle”. Both really get to me and place me instantly in a state of future hopefulness. Yes, I choose not to bring up regrets, but to look forward, thinking about what I can do in the future to leave a better legacy, while becoming more and more connected to my family.
Not all of us will become famous. In fact, most will not. We won’t all develop a cure to a disease, or solve world peace. But, we can all collectively work together to make the world a better place. Each act, no matter how small, works together to improve the world for someone else. It is when we share our time, talents, and money, whether great or small, that we can make a difference.
5 Things To Start Doing Today to Build Your Legacy
No floor did not equal no fun!
Looking people in the eye, and really listening-
In general, we are often in a hurry. And often, I too am in too much of a hurry. Believe it or not, I schedule time to listen to people. To really listen to them, make eye contact, and respond. I also make time to watch Hallmark movies with my Mom. She loves them, and wants me to as well. I am a Type A personality, and so watching a movie where I know the outcome before I watch is, err, stressful? There is nothing wrong with them, I just don’t love them. But as I said, my Mom does. So I watch them every now and then. Really watch them, discuss the characters with her, and am happy with the ending. It makes her really happy, especially because she knows I don’t like them. It’s an act of service.
Drinking Coffee at home or the office, and donating the money saved to the poor. –
I love to drink coffee, in almost any form. I love the anticipation when I smell it brewing, and know I will soon taste a smooth swig of dark brown goodness. I love being a part of the coffee drinkers of America club. Well, I am not actually a card carrying member, and not sure if that is an actual club, but I really enjoy coffee. But, I don’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy giving money to those in need.
Giving is what I really love. So, the majority of time, I drink less expensive coffee at home. I do have a canister of real whipped cream, and chocolate sprinkles to dress it up. But, I still realize a significant savings by drinking coffee at home. Do I resent drinking coffee from home instead of a coffee shop? No, because I want my legacy to be that I gave to those in need. It’s an act of financial charity.
Liking someone’s post on facebook-
Okay, now this is the most simple of them all! We all spend time on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In a nutshell, if someone posted something on social media, they want someone to notice, their activity, their picture, or their plight. How simple it is to just click like, or love, or laugh. It takes only a second or two, but it might really make someone’s day. In today’s society, this is like a wink on the street, a side hug to a friend, or a pat on the back. Someone noticed you. In essence, this is telling the poster that they matter in the world, and specifically to you! This is an act of kindness.
Teaching someone how to do something-
Now take a breath as this one can get kind of tricky. You might be thinking you could not teach anyone how to do anything. But you are wrong. First, you could teach your children, spouse, or a best friend how to cook. I totally realize that if you are the cook in the family, it is easier to just whip something up on your own, than to have to teach someone all the steps. I like to get from A to Z as quickly as possible, but my children (now in adulthood) are very competent in the kitchen. In fact, they can whip up some super yummy dishes. If I had not taken the time, they would not know how.
People need areas of their life where they feel competent. My Mom taught me to cook, her parents taught her. I love it when my 3 year old granddaughter says, “Nanny, can we cook some muffins today”? Partially because I enjoy cooking with her, and partially because I love that she knows I will take the time to teach her to do something. Does it always turn out pretty? No, but it always tastes like it has been filled with love.
And not just cooking. Maybe you are a wiz with technology, or you are a wonderful gardener. Do you know how to put an outfit together? Or, apply the perfect makeup? Maybe you know how to change the oil on a car, crochet or sew? Teach someone to do something and you will also reap the rewards. This is an act of mentoring.
Inviting a person or family to your home to share a meal.-
Here we go, this is where you will have to open your heart, your home, and your calendar. Inviting a person or family to share a meal in your home could take many forms. It could be an expensive dinner with prime ingredients that takes hours to prepare. Or, it could be an “ easy- peasy” potluck at home with a casual vibe. Or, really, anything in between. You could have make your own pizza night to give everyone an activity, or bring in takeout so that time is spent visiting.
I love having people over, but for years I did not because I would tell myself, the house was not ready. We are always undertaking some sort of project, and well, it can be in a state of disrepair quite often. A few years ago, I realized, I didn’t care if my home was ready or not. I wanted to share time and meals with family and friends. I am so thankful I did as we have had wonderful get togethers. Some big and some small.
It does not have to be perfect, to have a perfectly wonderful time.
This past Thanksgiving, we were 2 weeks into a termite remediation project. Our plan was to have 14 for Thanksgiving Dinner, with several family members sleeping over for quite a few days surrounding the holiday. Since the living room and kitchen had no floor down, and the kitchen floor, thanks to the termites, had several sections you could literally fall thru, it might have been a good excuse to cancel Thanksgiving. But we did not. And I am so glad.
We had a house full of family, the turkeys and the trimming were made with love and care. So many good memories were formed over that week, and all without a floor. We finished Thanksgiving with a all family game of Pictionary. We put up a large whiteboard in the living room, split up into teams, and then played our hearts out. It was awesome! And an added bonus to having no floor, was that I didn’t need to worry if anyone spilled on the floor…because there was no floor! This is an act of hospitality.
How will you build your legacy?
All of the above ideas are really simple, not very costly, but make a difference in someone’s world. As you can see, it does not take a lot. Every act counts. Everything works together to make the world a better place. So, as I keep working on building my legacy, share in the comments below how you are working to not only improve your legacy, but to make the world a better place. You never know, you might only have 20 minutes left!