Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Legacy, broccoli and a herd of water buffalo

This is a guest post by Robb Lucy (www.yourlegacysmile.com)  who is a cancer survivor with a rich background in broadcasting, production, marketing and non-profit development. Robb has been involved with several local, national and international non-profits, and was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal as co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Founda­tion in Canada and Director of MAW International. He is now writing a book designed to get people to rethink Legacy giving.

Do this little test: at a polite dinner table ask your guests ‘what will your Legacy be?’ Most will end up staring into their broccoli. No time.  The career. The kids. I’ll get to it. I’ll get to it already.

I didn’t think I’d have a Legacy either. We couldn’t have kids, so after collecting all my ‘stuff’, and with no one to give it to, I wouldn’t be able to leave a ‘Legacy’.

Then a funny thing happened. On an airplane I told my friend I was going to receive a national award for the charity work I’d done. And I just finished a book on my Father’s war experiences.  And I just finished twenty years of building a local Literacy initiative. “That’s quite a Legacy” he said. Huh? said I.

I’m one of 80 million Boomers. We’re getting old & wise enough to ask some questions. As Socrates said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Do I want to make a difference?’ ‘Do I want to leave a mark?’ ‘Do I want to feel connected to people and happy with what I’m doing and what I’ll leave behind?’

Remember Star Trek and the credo they all lived by - ‘The Prime Directive’? Picard, Data, Jordie and the others agreed there could be no interference with the internal development of alien civilizations.

The prime directive in the animal world is to ensure the next generation. My wife and I started raising honey bees. Nobody works harder than our little bees to create the honey to feed them through next winter and start again. And if the Queen doesn't make it, the remaining bees make another Queen. The Prime Directive is to keep on, keepin’ on.

Our prime directive, according to the Dalai Lama, is really quite simple: ‘To be happy’ he says.

So If I want to be happier, can I combine that with ‘Legacy’? 

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