Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Legacy We Leave Our Children: What Will Your Gift Be?

Short little post to get me back into blogging after a small hiatus:

I've been thinking a lot about the legacy that we leave for our children.

For some, the legacy they leave is material in nature: a substantial inheritance to start them on their way, a business to provide them a livelihood, a home in which to raise their own families...

For others, it is memories of wonderful times together: family vacations, heartfelt conversations, carefully preserved photographs and videos...

I hope to leave both of these for my sons, but the more I think about it, the more I want my legacy to be a way of thinking about themselves and the world around them. Anyone who knows me knows that my children don't really resemble me- they are miniatures of their father (I was simply the vessel). So, since the only thing they seem to have inherited from me is a predisposition for allergies and asthma, I'm hoping to instill in them my life philosophy.

So, I decided to sum up into a single statement the kind of men I want my boys to grow up to be, and make that statement a guiding principle in how I raise them. What do I want for my children? Of course, I want them to be successful , happy, prosperous... but I also want them to be men who lead by example, to be generous to others, gracious in their daily lives and thankful for their blessings. How to sum that up in a way that a young child can understand?

Here's what I came up with: "Always strive for greatness, but never at the expense of your goodness."

I'm off to nurture some future world leaders: wish me luck!

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