"When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart." ~ Russian Proverb
This quote reminds me of a recent discussion I had about legacy building. The discussion got me thinking about what remains of us when we leave and how what we want to remain effects what we build right now. I can't say for sure what specifics I'd like to be remembered for, what one or two things I'd like to build during my time here that will last well into the future. I can say that there are certain sentiments that I hope will be a part of my legacy.
I hope that I am remembered as someone with great heart and compassion and empathy, someone who always considered walking in the shoes of others before passing any kind of judgment. I'd like the words "concern" and "commitment" to appear numerous times in my history. That my integrity remained intact through challenging and easy times. Someone who had dreams and pursued them, while also encouraging and fostering the dreams of others.
I'd like to look back on my life with no regrets, no missed opportunities, having gained and lost in large amounts because I was always willing to take a leap of faith. Someone who remained hopeful in the face of despair, calm in the presence of tension, always looking up even when circumstances at eye level were dire. Having done the very best with what I had, maintained grace and kindness and wonder. That this world be a happier, more peaceful, creative place because I passed this way. Most of all, I hope that I am remembered as someone who rose to my potential while also reaching down to help others rise, too.
There's a lot of pressure in the world around us to look, feel, and act a certain way, pressure to conform and take the journey that's the easiest, safest, and most secure. Just because a path has very little resistance doesn't mean it's the right path for us. Finding our calling, building our legacy, takes more effort than just following the easy road. It involves knowing who are, and more importantly, who we are capable of becoming. It involves listening to the heart as sincerely as we listen to the mind.