Not Cease from Exploration

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Legacy

As you get older, the word "legacy" gets thrown around in your presence more and more.  "Legacy" as in "what will your legacy be?".  I'm starting to get to that age, and while the question doesn't come around from the outside very often, it certainly pings around in my head quite a bit.  Now I'm not quite sure how to answer it, but fortunately, I do have time.

The one benefit I see from the legacy question is that it does stop and make one think.  Heck, maybe with sufficient ramp-up time I'll end up actually having an answer by the time the very idea of a legacy becomes an actual thing for me.  It all seems to be in the perspective one takes.

On one hand, I know that my children will be a part of my legacy, but that's kind of nebulous, at best.  Yes, I'd like to see my better qualities reflected in my those for whom I've had an opportunity to help raise, but sadly they will also get some of my "not so better" qualities as well.  Anyone for a little side of over-thinking with your naked glazed chicken?  I could go on, but self-flagellation is never a pretty sight.

On the other hand, I would love the idea that something I've noted here, maybe in some small way, might somehow be akin to a breeze that helps alter the course of a Bee (hey, that last line almost counts as an Emily Dickinson poem) every so slightly.  I almost feel stupid even writing that thought, but it is an honest one, so why not?  I'm not looking to change the world, mainly just to maybe change me, and if someone else gets caught up in the (positive) backwash, well, I'm fine with it.  

Now at work, I occasionally get asked something along the lines of "what do you want to do?".  Yes, even folks who work in HR get asked that question.  For many (and I'd note especially those who work in HR) the honest answer is something along the lines of "get promoted".  I understand that answer, even if it's not my answer.  Sure, getting promoted would be nice, but I learned a while ago to detach my sense of self-worth from the notions of corporate rank/title/performance rating.  You should too, by the way, as otherwise you'll just set yourself up for almost continual disappointment.  Anyway, those things are real, in a sense, because they carry stuff like more money with them, but they are also very artificial as well, given that for the most part, they are also highly subjective.  That nasty clerk at the Post Office?  Everyone at Comcast?  God?  They all have something in common:  None of them cares about your work title.

Anyway, and to bring this thought to a close, maybe my legacy is this:  What I want to do...what I want my legacy to be...is to simply have made someone or something just a little better by the time I exit, stage right.



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