Legacy Begins at Birth

The older I get, the more I think about legacy and what I will leave behind when my time comes to pass into the afterlife. Whether one believes in heaven or not, we all know the time will come when our present existence will end and what will remain of us. What will we have planted that will become the fruit that the next generations will feed upon. What will our thoughts, words, actions and contributions say on our behalf? Will our legacy uplift, inspire and empower or will our life journey be a cautionary tail of what not to do and how not to live? Or will our living be so nondescript that our name barely stirs a memory, good or bad.

Legacy is not something you start working on in your later years. It's not something you throw together as you creep closer to your final days, so people will have nice things to say about you at your funeral.

No... Legacy begins at birth. When you take what's been passed to you through the lineage of your bloodline and the stories of your family’s history and add your contribution to that. Your legacy is comprised of the lives that are lived before you as you watch and grow up around your people. It is nurtured by the stories you hear while seated at the knees of your elders, who connect the past with the present and impart wisdom you will need for the future.

Your legacy is built by your choices… Then daily choices you make to do something positive and powerful with your life, that leaves a lasting impact on the people you encounter every day of your life. Even at the tender age of our formative years and on into young adulthood, we need to know, that every choice we make affects others. With every choice, we're either building a legacy of greatness or a history of disappointment. With every Tweet, every Snapchat, every Instagram video, we’re adding to our legacy. All those thoughts, words and deeds that are captured forever, could help someone along their way or come back to haunt us at the most inopportune times.

In the times in which we live, our images and our words can bring us praise and platitudes or shame and humiliation. Just ask those poor unwise souls we will always remember as the man who shot Trayvon Martin, the cop who murdered Philando Castile or the woman who called the police on a little girl for selling water. These have all created a legacy that they will never live down, never escape, never be able to justify or explain away. It’s the way they will always be remembered.

Even as our current government administration brings shame upon the nation, warring against the truth, these misguided mindsets are building a legacy for America that we may never live down. For when truth becomes the true enemy in the minds of many, our collective legacy desperately needs to hear our voices to rejuvenate it, redirect it into a much better conversation. Each of us needs to see where we fit in and how we can add a vitally important part to the present-day narrative, as we build our own personal legacy of goodness, kindness, hope, strength and positivity.

In this, the questions must be asked… What am I doing today, to positively impact the world around me? What am I doing today, that is helping to educate the younger generation. How am I bringing light, love and encouragement to those I encounter in my daily life, within my own home and without? Am I more positive or more negative? Am I building a legacy of being a complaining, impatient, critical spirit? Or am I demonstrating how to work through problems with a mind to make things better and not add to that confusion and frustration?

Am I using my best gifts as a gift to the world, planting seeds in the heart of others that will produce good fruit in their lives… Even if I may not be around to see those seed blossom.

Am I daily thinking about ways to improve the lives of others, or is it all about me?

Having these conversations with ourselves and the circle of people in our lives and family, is all a part of building a strong legacy. If we truly understood the gift of legacy, the power of legacy, the voice of legacy, as the daily opportunity to spend our lives passing on something good, our world would indeed be a better place.

So… What’s Your Legacy?

Written By: Melissa Ewell

Melissa Mimi Ewell is a wife and mother, an author, blogger, speaker and missionary, who travels across the US and Africa, uplifting and inspiring others to live their dreams and pursue their passions. Becoming an author is a journey she’s taking from the heart with the hopes of touching the lives of readers worldwide. Mimi is currently enjoying her her dream of living in Ghana, writing books and working as a women's empowerment coordinator for a missionary support organization. Follow her blog www.writtenworks.net

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash