Thursday, May 6, 2010

What Legacy?

Someone in our family, some years ago, wrote this and I found it in myold Word Perfect files. It gives food for thought! Maybe it willinspire us to write legacy-worthy thoughts in our journals????Love, Gma

I had a philosophy professor who was the quintessential eccentricphilosopher. His disheveled appearance was highlighted by a well-worntweed sport coat and poor-fitting thick glasses, which often rested onthe tip of his nose. Every now and the, as most philosophy professors do,he would go off on one of those esoteric and existential "what's themeaning of life" discussions. Many of those discussions went nowhere, butthere were a few that really hit home. This was one of them:"Respond to the following questions by a show of hands," my professorinstructed. "How many of you can tell me something about your parents?"Everyone's hand went up.

"How many of you can tell me something about your grandparents?" Aboutthree-fourths of the class raised their hands.

"How many of you can tell me something about your great-grandparents?"Two out of sixty students raised their hands.

"Look around the room," he said. "In just two short generations hardlyany of us even know who our own great-grandparents were. Oh sure, maybewe have an old, tattered photograph tucked away in a musty cigar box orknow the classic family story about how one of them walked 5 miles toschool barefoot. But how many of us really know who they were, what theythought, what they were proud of, what they were afraid of, or what theydreamed about? Think about that. Within three generations our ancestorsare all but forgotten. Will this happen to you?

"Here's a better question. Look ahead three generations. You are longgone. Instead of you sitting in this room, now it's yourgreat-grandchildren. What will they have to say about you? Will they knowabout you? Or will you be forgotten, too? "Is your life going to be a warning or an example?

"What legacy will you have? The choice is yours. Class dismissed."Nobody rose from their seat for a good five minutes.

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