Saturday, September 20, 2014

Your Legacy

Years ago while enroute to our cottage with friends; their vehicle suddenly began experiencing some trouble along the highway.  It just happened that we had stopped just past the cut off to my brothers home in Orillia.  My brother also just happened to be apprenticing as a mechanic at the time; so we called him to see if he could help.  He told us to have the tow truck (that was already on its way to us) drop the vehicle off at his shop and he'd take a look at it.

It turned out the issue wasn't a simple one to fix and parts needed to be ordered.  We discussed how we were going to proceed with our trip without missing out.  We only had a week to spend at the cottage and still had about 6-7 hours of travel time to get there.  Out of the blue my brother offered his girlfriends car for the duration of our trip.  He said he would see to it that the vehicle was ready to go by the time we were coming back through to head home.  Since he and his girlfriend had two vehicles he figured it would work for them to share a car for a week in exchange for us not having to change our plans or miss our vacation altogether.  I have no idea what kind of discussions went on during the week between he and his better half but I would imagine that the situation was worth it; my brother being kind hearted would have endured any amount of personal hardship for the sake of helping someone out.

We transferred our gear to the new ride and were on our way the next morning.

I was reminded of this story out of the blue the other day.  It's not uncommon for me to think of my brother.  I miss him very much.

The other night as I drove home from a meeting with a friend; she and I were recalling the generosity and kind heart of a friend who had passed earlier in the year.  She was telling me that she will never forget the kindness of this man and his family in making her and her family feel at home in the community.

The story of my brother and the words of my friend recalling the kindness of another brought into the forefront of my mind what it means to leave a legacy behind.

I used to think that what I 'did' for a living would be what people remembered of me once I was gone.  That somehow being a 'healer' or a 'life coach' was going to be the thing that set me apart in the world and would have people talking at my funeral.  What I have learned (it seems to me this would have been a 'no-brainer' however....) and what I have come to believe is that whether or not you are the best lawyer, teacher, mother, friend, security guard, store clerk or garbage man; the only thing that you will be remembered for is whether or not you were kind.

Just once.  To be kind just once means that you will be leaving behind a legacy.  That one person, that one time will be enough to get you through the pearly gates without incident.

My husband remembers the apple pies that his grandmother used to make for him when he would visit her.  He remembers these pies not only because they tasted good but because they were also baked with kindness in mind.

I remember stories of my father always helping people in moments of crisis.  He always seemed to be in the 'right place at the right time'.  He never hesitated.  I know he is remembered for his kindness.

Our legacy.  What we leave behind us is rooted in kindness.  We live on in the memories and minds of others through our kind gestures.  Whether they be random acts of kindness once in a while or whether we make kindness our religion; it will be enough to be remembered.

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