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The Source of Legacy - Jade Schultz

 



 Many years ago, when my grandmother was still alive, I asked that she record her history. At that time, she was 90 years old. I gave her a set of prompts to kick-start the process. Things like: favorite childhood memories, vacations, memories with my grandfather, etc. As my grandmother often did, she took ordinary prompts and developed them into a lifetime of memories, lessons, encouragement, entertainment, gratitude, and grace. She wove memories together to create a beautiful story. When she finished, she gave our family copies of her life. It remains one of my favorite treasures. She’s been gone for several years, but the mark she left continues to this day. 

 

It’s easy to forget that we are not our own. Yes, in fact, we are all unique. However, we carry the mark of others. We carry their history and the history of those that they carried. If it were possible, I believe we could trace our ancestors all the way back to the beginning by the marks others have made on us. Anthropologists have been doing this for years. This is the origin of legacy. 

 

There are many thoughts on legacy. Some basic ones include a legacy of love, peace, war, property, architecture, foundations, and so on. Sometimes legacy is simply a person not wanting to be forgotten. Whatever the reason behind leaving a legacy, I propose that legacy is born through vulnerability. 

 

True legacy emerges from vulnerability. Vulnerability surrenders our story to another person. Sharing our stories, our history, our victories, and our hardships with others is what whispers beyond our earthly lives. Our lives are not our own, they reach backwards and forwards through the generations. What is brilliant about legacy is it is not limited to bloodline, but rather heart-to-heart. 

 

When Abram was talking to God, he simply wanted an heir for his household. I’m not sure he was worried about his story touching the lives of people in the year 2024. Yet here we are, reading about the life he led, the mistakes, the lessons, and the faith he had. Legacy is the value one places on the story of another’s memories. Legacy is the lesson one learns from the sometimes blood-battered pieces of another. 

 

In my grandmother's history, she recalls looking out across the land that she and my grandfather owned. She spoke of the great privilege it was to steward it and to leave it better for the next. My father and mother picked up where they left off. I will do the same. Then, one day, it will be my great privilege to look at what all the generations before me held and to pass it along to the betterment of others. Hopefully, it will set other families up for their own stories to flourish. 

 

The lives we lead outlast us. Our history is the beginning of the future in others. With vulnerability being the key to living a life of legacy. Write, record, and share your story. It is likely that it is the key to a problem another will face. 

 

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Bear Dawl
Bear Dawl
Feb 28

Yup

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