We often think of legacies as being that of which belong to athletes, musicians, politicians, actors, and those in the spotlight. I can remember statistics of Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, The Jackson Five albums, cyclist Lance Armstrong, Whitney Houston, President Barack Obama, and many others. These trend setters left an impression on certain aspects of my life. I never think about my own legacy!
I wonder how many of you think about your own legacy. How will your family, friends, and community reflect upon you now and in the future?
Parents, family members, and community leaders have played the role of helping loved ones to shift legacy by sharing encouraging words, creating safe spaces, and being available as mentors. Some have paved the way by paying for college and opening doors to careers that are only available through the familial connection. We see the benefits reaped by those individuals in favor and how the possibility of their legacy is shifted because of good fortune.
And then there are those who by no fault of their own, do not have anyone to be their advocate or ally. They do not have a roadmap to follow. No doors are open for them and favors are often expected to be repaid in ways that are inhumane. I think of the kids without parents in the gap years (16 to 18 years old) and they are no longer protected by the foster care system. I ask myself, what can I do to help them with a roadmap or open a few doors that may shift their legacy?
The bigger question is do we want to stick with the status quo or make changes that can shift legacies?
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