Written by: Elizabeth Mashak
The story of our life is best compared to the most epic of roller coasters. It is filled with twists and turns that many times we never see coming.
But as we look back and reflect on those experiences, have you ever thought about what it all means? And perhaps more importantly, how these moments define your final legacy?
At America’s Footprints, our members often check in to their Footprint to preserve the poignant moments in their journey that they will one day pass down to their children. And it’s these very stories that will ultimately morph into the final message they leave behind in their family’s history.
However, the plethora of life experiences that contribute to our story makes it difficult to determine how we will be remembered in history, if at all. So this got us thinking: in the myriad of life experiences, what is one important message we truly want to leave behind for the future generations of our family?
We decided to reach out to some of our members to see if they would be willing to anonymously share some of that wisdom. And here are some of the responses we received:
- “If you want to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to a Jew, say it. If you want to talk about how much you hate politics in front of others who follow politics closely, then speak your mind. If you don’t like someone, then stop following them on social media. This world of political correctness is beginning to silence our freedom of speech. Don’t let it silence you.”
- “People will always tell you to ‘live life’. But it’s your choice to decide how you will live it. My suggestion – don’t waste it.”
- “When someone tells you a dream is not possible, accept it as a challenge to prove them wrong.”
- “The future of your family’s history is not defined by the actions of your past. You have the power to make a choice. And you have the potential to change future history.”
- “Despite what the movies may lead us to believe, we are not invincible. Remember that when your friends ask you to do something dangerously stupid because they think it’s cool.”
- “Stop procrastinating. Stop putting things off until tomorrow. Get off your ass and make it happen. Because ‘tomorrow’ may no longer be in your future.”
- “There’s an old saying: ‘friends come and go’. What they fail to mention is that same rule will likely apply to family members as well.”
- “Accept the fact that you will make bad decisions in life. But as long as you made those decisions with the best of intentions, you should have no problem resting easy at night.”
- “You are born strong. Don’t let the stupidity of others make you weak.”
- “Never forget to take time away from work to just enjoy the world around you. What good is all that savings if you refuse to do anything with it until your 2/3’s of the way through life?”
- “Material things are empty vessels. Go ahead and latch on to that killer sports car or 60″ flat screen TV. I’m sure they’ll be right by your side to comfort you when you are lying on your death bed.”
- “Life is a choice. If you don’t like where you are, make a decision to change it. Stop wasting everyone’s time just talking about your good intentions. Actions will always speak louder than words!”
- “Don’t be so consumed with your past that you forget to look ahead into your future.”
- “If you choose not to make a positive difference in your life, then that’s your problem. Don’t expect anyone else to make it for you.”
- “Our bodies may grow old. But it’s our responsibility to make sure our spirits stay forever young.”
So when your children, your grandchildren, and even your great grandchildren read the last page in the story of your life, what is the message they will uncover? What is the one thing, above all else, that you want to preserve for them?
In all the wisdom and all of the experience you have gained in your lifetime, can you even summarize it all into a single message?
The challenge is now yours to accept.