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Leaving a Legacy

In reading Cabot Peterson’s article on Alice Fleisher, what caught my attention was the term “legacy mission.”

She’s now on target to complete what she calls her “legacy mission,” the final chapter in a life that began when, as a young girl, she determined her purpose in life was “to come into perfect harmony with God and, further, to help guide others to reach that same goal (Bodhisattva mission).”

Many of us may be thinking about our legacy; thinking in terms of our life’s legacy and leaving a legacy.

In my research into leaving a legacy I discovered an enjoyable article: five ways to leave a great legacy.

1. Support the People and Causes That are Important to You

My best friend of decades ago once asked me what I thought was the most important attribute of friendship. I replied that support was the major theme of friendship. There isn’t any more wonderful feeling in life than making the choice to sustain loyalty to a friend by lovingly supporting everything that is good and right about that person’s life. My friend was an advocate of a few major causes in the city we resided in and I supported those causes, too, as she supported mine. Although we parted ways when I moved out of the city, she would always reach out to me and remember my work, my life and my family.

2. Reflect and Decide What is Most Important in Your Life

When you review your life’s journey, several ideas may come to mind: Did you grow and perhaps transform your life, make changes when you needed to, find your truth, inspire others, become a leader or influence others? Touching lives and exemplifying a truthful path is paramount to living a joyful and purposeful life. Your legacy will live on.

3. Share Your Blessings With Others

I was walking two dogs the other day — one dog was totally blind and the other dog stubbornly knew her mind. I stopped suddenly in the middle of my son’s beautiful neighborhood to observe with wonder the late afternoon thunderclouds bulging out from the mountains. I thought of all the blessings I have in life and how I try to be mindful of sharing with others the richness of my life. I have been given abundance and such is my fate. And it is my legacy to give back this abundance to others. Everyone has blessings to share, even if it a simple smile of acknowledgement.

4. Be a Mentor to Others

A mentor by definition is a more experienced or more knowledgeable person with an area of expertise. Everyone has some significant truth to impart to others that will guide less experienced people in life. The mentoring/mentee relationship involves personal development and support. This process involves an exchange of knowledge complimented by psychological and/or social support that is crucial to sustaining new mindsets. Sometimes these relationships last a lifetime, even when the mentee has moved on to influence others.

5. Pursue Your Passions Because They Are Infectious

Your passions are your legacy. Passion comes from an outpouring of the interests and ideas that make a difference in your life. Finding and pursuing your passion allows you to see your destiny clearly. That’s what happened to me with yoga and dancing tango. I can attest to the fact that life won’t be any fun if you don’t pursue your passions to the fullest. It’s contagious. It’s religious. It’s religious. Don’t miss the opportunity to pursue your passions and then continue to look for new adventures.

Leaving a legacy is an important part of your life’s work. A legacy develops from a life dedicated to self-reflection and purpose. What will be revealed and what will endure is a truthful and value driven body of living.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” Shannon L. Alder

Support the People and Causes That are Important to You 

If you are reflecting about the role that Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) has had in your life and the role that the Seminary continues to have in society, then you may want to consider as a legacy, your bequest to UTS.

A charitable bequest is a very simple way of making a generous gift to Unification Theological Seminary. When drafting or updating your will, we encourage you to consider including UTS as a beneficiary of your estate, creating a legacy that will help ensure excellent theological education for future generations. With the help of your attorney, you can include language in your will specifying a gift to be made to Unification Theological Seminary as part of your estate plan.