What is Your Legacy?

I’m reading this book that makes me feel utterly alive. That is so vivid and so brilliant, I cannot stop smiling.

And it makes me think about what I will leave behind when I die.

What my legacy will be.

Not that we get to choose. I mean it’s decided after we’re gone so I’m not sure we really get to weigh in on it.

But if I did…

I don’t think I’ll discover something scientifically essential.

I don’t plan to leave children behind.

I don’t expect to be remembered for the way my smile leaps into my eyes.

All that I can leave are my words. My characters. My stories.

And hope that they live on in the imaginations of others.


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38 Responses to What is Your Legacy?

  1. Rob C says:

    I have been thinking about the same things lately, maybe because we see middle age around the corner. I went a little different direction with trying to touch individual lives and help them free themselves from the root causes of suffering. I have relaunched my own blog in recent weeks to follow my path of developing those thoughts: http://cimplify.biz I look forward to continue watching you and others as we all try to find ways to help enlighten our society and inspire our fellow wanderers.

    • LOL–a case of great minds I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good, I think we all should try to “make a mark” for the better. That’s an amazing goal and direction. I’ll have to stop by your blog too. ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, my writing is how I find meaning in things and hope to pass along some of my experiences. Hopefully it will have a positive impact on some people. Best of luck with your blog!

  2. Marc Schuster says:

    The best compliment I can imagine is people telling me that they wonder what my characters are up to long after they’ve finished reading the book!

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’m thinking I’ll be remembered for my Scotcharoo bars. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carrie, I must know what is a scotcharoo bar. It sounds divine. Something worth being remembered by. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        Oh, you know, a Rice Krispee bar with peanut butter in it, topped with melted chocolate and butterscotch chips. LOTS of melted chocolate and butterscotch chips for a nice thick layer. And extra marshmallows and karo syrup mixed in with the Rice Krispees to make them extra chewy. Really low cal, in other words.

        • Ah, definitely a diet friendly treat. ๐Ÿ˜› I must confess I am a bit disappointed by the lack of scotch. I adore rum balls–mostly for the rum. But it sounds like something your boys would talk about for ages. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Elliot says:

    I’m hoping that I can leave behind some useful words as well, as I’m not sure what else I’ve contributed at large.

    I have a child and hopefully one more, and I would like to think I will do him (or hopefully them) justice.

    • I’m not sure what I may contribute in the future, but my words seem to be the only thing that might last beyond me. Aw, kids are a wonderful legacy too. I have a friend who’s main desire was to be a mom and she’s giving it all she has. I think that’s the key, finding what your passionate about and giving yourself over to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. This is exactly how I view my legacy: my words, and stories, and of course children. Thank you for making me think this morning!

  6. Beautiful, Kourtney. I’ve no doubt your poignant words and stories will be part of your legacy.

    • Thanks August. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just started thinking about what I’ve accomplished and what I would leave behind if I died. All because of another author’s mind-tapping brilliance. But more about that on Monday. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    I suspect a lot of writers will agree with you on this one. Leaving behind our words and stories and hoping they continue to find an audience after we’re gone. No children here, either, so I hope I will leave a legacy of words. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I read this book (which I’m reviewing on Monday), that started off a chain reaction of deep thinking. It really made me question what my life’s value might be. And the idea that long after I’m gone someone might stumble on my writing and hear me. Wow that is a legacy.

  8. CC MacKenzie says:

    I’m leaving three children behind, I hope! Can’t wait to see what book you’re talking about, Kourtney!

  9. EllaDee says:

    Great post. I hadn’t thought about a legacy of words but I have a recently discovered published diary of a family member several generations back which I think is amazing, so it may be part of my legacy will be words in some form. More tangibly, the G.O. & I often discuss the poor unfortunates to whom the task will fall of sorting out our numerous, much loved possessions accumulated from hand-me-downs, op shops, second hand shops, garage sales – only a house & a half full even at this stage… Beyond that, I will hand on the legacy I received & have well used, of confidence in self & life, kinship & friendship, belonging which supports & nutures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it was an enjoyable exercise considering my own ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks. It really was the book that inspired the soul searching question. But more on that Monday. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I was thinking of people who start non-profits, or teach or doctors who save lives. There are so many ways to affect the world around us and leave something behind in our wake.
      LOL, I too have many mementos of the life I’ve lived to date and I pity whoever is tasked with going through my stuff. It will probably all end up in a dump or maybe goodwill. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it’s just things with significance to me. No one else will know that sake cap is from my birthday party at Nobu. No one else will know that shell is from Cardiff-By-The-Sea. But while I’m alive those physical things help trigger memories.

  10. As I’ve come to expect from youโ€”honesty. You’re a gem. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 4amWriter says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with wanting your words and stories to be remembered long after you leave the earth. Absolutely. Without question. I would want at least one of my many novels ๐Ÿ™‚ to be thought highly enough to be talked about for generations. I think I’d enjoy that as I look down on the earth while I’m sipping my nectar. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can’t imagine how AMAZING it is to have been Shakespeare or Dickens. To see your words outlive you and be a part of generations and generations after you. I’d settle for someone dusting off the cover of my book and saying, “Huh, this looks interesting.”

  12. I hope the same thing – but I kinda like to think my sunny smile and gorgeous childer will be part of the whole thing too.

  13. zelmare says:

    That’s a whole lot more than most of us will leave! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Great post. The words you leave behind will be the source of dreams for someone – and maybe inspire a writer to begin their own journey. That’s some legacy.

    • Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think about all the writers who inspired me. We never met, but their words gave me more than many friendships have. I hope someday my words can do the same for someone else. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Words are powerful gifts to offer as we exit. I watched Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird for the millionth time the other night and have read the book so often I could recite it by rote. So many gifted writers, as you will, leave us part of them in their thoughts and writings.

  16. I’m sure they will, Kourtney ๐Ÿ™‚ Just like your blog here. xo

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