“The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.” – John Allston
Truer words were never spoken. As we go through life, we all accumulate “stuff.” In our society, “stuff” is a status symbol, outward signs that we are successful. We furnish houses, buy cars, raise children (VERY expensive!) and save for retirement, hoping we can live out our lives worry-free and perhaps take a few nice vacations while we are at it.
We also care for aging parents (many of us anyway) and try to help family, friends or strangers in need to the degree that we can. All of this is part of being alive, and few can say life has not thrown curveballs their way. It’s a journey.
But when our journey inevitably ends, the things we own no longer matter. We really can’t take it with us. We can, however, leave meaningful things behind that, for the most part, have nothing to do with our “stuff.”
The concept of “leaving a legacy” is simple. If the things we leave behind show our families and communities what was important to us during our lifetime, we have truly lived a meaningful life.
The reality of leaving a legacy is a little more complex because each of us has a very personal idea of what mattered most.
Making a planned gift that benefits an organization that has positively impacted your life is a very powerful way to leave a legacy. Not only does it help the organization, it also makes a statement (to your family, friends and community) about your values, ideals and who you were.
This type of legacy can potentially endure forever. Have you thought about the legacy you want to leave?
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