What do you want people to remember you for? What is the legacy you want to leave behind? Most of the time, we expect only world leaders and big time entrepreneurs to have answers to these questions. And when asked the question, everyone wants to give the impression of doing something huge that would probably be mentioned in history books later in life. But guess what, you don’t necessarily have to start big. You can start by changing one person’s life; just one heartbeat at a time.
You may not have the capital to start a home for the orphans and the homeless nor the resources to organize a crusade to win the lost but you can be a friend to someone who dearly needs one; you can be a comforter to someone in dying need of consolation, you can be a provider to someone who lacks. All it takes is to have the passion and the compassion to care for someone that much to help him or her succeed in life. Make that person your lifetime project.
At age 20, you may still be in school, not have a part-time job and still confused about what you want to do in future and have some attitudinal problems, but the right mind and heart, you can change a life- you don’t have to buy the person gifts; just be a friend and the person will appreciate you forever.
At age 40, you may not own a house or a car or have a stable good job and may be facing some problems with spouse and children but it is not too late to turn things around. Make things right with your children. Teach your children the love of God and appreciate each one for his or her unique qualities. Appreciate your spouse for giving you the family you are so proud of. Be a parent and a mentor to a colleague at your workplace or your neighborhood and share in his or her success and failures.
At age 60, you may have watched your children settle in good jobs and in marriages and you may be enjoying good times with your spouse reflecting on the significant quality times spent with your children growing up. You may have finished helping your children establish but there may be someone who needs your support and counsel to establish himself. You could talk to that addict to convince him or her that there is more to life. You can tell him God cares for matter what he or she has done.
You may be retired and be nearing the grave and you may be thinking that you wasted your life because you didn’t do anything concrete for people to remember. But trust me, the seed of support, advice and companionship you gave people may leave them indebted to you even after you are long gone. Your legacy could live on and on when the people whose lives you impacted do the same to others. And surely, God will also reward you and say, “Well done, my faithful servant.”
Josephine Amoako (c) 2012.