In the grander scheme of the vast Universe, I have absolutely nothing to do with my legacy. Really. My legacy will be left for others—those whom I’ve touched in some way—to determine. When you think about it, we’ll never know our legacy, by definition.
That others shall define my legacy is only fitting, what matters, and, perhaps, comforting as well. When I’m present in life, then I really don’t care what happens in the future, when I’m a distant memory.
When I’m present to life, present to the bigger picture, all I can do is my best. Do I love and forgive myself? Do I do the same for others? Do I look for and listen for the greater than within others, that they don’t see or hear? Have I been of service to others, giving away all that I’ve been contributed over a lifetime? Like O-Sensei said: Did I overcome me? Did I at least get out of my own way, for the most part? Was I kind to others and myself, when I didn’t really feel like it?
Hopefully, in the bigger picture, I did my best to check off as many of these ‘boxes’ as possible. Did I forgive myself for the ‘boxes’ that went unchecked? Just saying.
So, how do I wish to be remembered? What do I want to be remembered for?
Yeah, it’s the eternal hypothetical. By the very definition of legacy, I shall never know. Still, I can dream.
“What do I wish to be remembered for?” Perhaps, that I was a good son. That I was a good Sensei. I had endured a less than ideal childhood. Yet, I tried to inspire others to see their greater than selves within. Perhaps too, I discovered my measure of peace, getting that I love and forgive me.
My hope is that I’m remembered for at least trying to leave the world a little better off than when I came into it. The past is certainly in the past, where it needs to be. Granted, although mine was less than ideal, I did my best to let that go, and to let go of being right about it as well. Again, just saying.
In the bigger picture, in the history of the world, I won’t be remembered by the world. Yet, I hope those I shared the journey with, got some value from our relationship, that they too created their own magnificent work of art in their own way.
I hope that I might be remembered as a good man, something that Mom and Sensei taught me to be. I was not at all perfect, but that I embraced my imperfection, doing my utmost to make a difference for others.
I would like to be remembered as a good Sensei carrying forward Sensei Dan’s legacy. That I did my part to create peace in the World by teaching Aikido to students, giving away all that I’ve gotten from the Art and from Sensei for the next generations.
I hope that I was a good son, a man Mom and Dad would be proud of.
I hope that I’m remembered as some Dude, who got that it’s worth risking myself to fall madly and deeply in love. That it’s meaningful. Maybe, I found my soul mate. Yet, regardless of what happened, I kept the faith, I had a sense of humor and got back up when I failed.
There are a lot of things I hope people remember about me. Perhaps, the nicest homage: To be remembered for being as authentic as I could be. I laughed when it was funny. I cried when I was touched or experienced loss. I was honorable.
Hopefully, I was okay with being myself and was proud of my life. Amen.
This post was previously published on Facebook.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Istockphoto.com