I am currently working on a short-term assignment. After the first few weeks, I have come to realize that I am unlikely to have any major deliverables where I can fail before the assignment is up. However, there is a lingering question. What kind of legacy do I want to leave? It is more than just an idle question. The answer shapes my focus on the immediate versus the strategic. It alters my approach to the relationships in the assignment.
I know my aspirations. Ideally, I will be true to my mission. In a perfect world, compassion and family/community triumph over all else. I want to be able to say “in everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them.” (Acts 20.34)
It is an ideal. Then there is the reality of the world that you and I live in.
Life’s challenges overwhelm common sense. As a father, I cannot imagine why someone would choose to an abusive response to a discipline problem. I cannot imagine, however one father went to jail yesterday in Singapore for sexually abusing his daughter. The reason given was that she had misbehaved and he wanted to teach her a lesson.
Life’s challenges consume our emotional strength. Health realities haunt our lives. Lifestyle choices catch up and demand that we change. We know the answer yet continue to risk our lives living as we have.
Life’s complexity continues to increase. For many, myself included, living in the virtual world is mandatory. Being overwhelmed and confused is normal.
In a state of being overwhelmed, tired, and confused, the question remains. What do I want my legacy to be? How do I want others to remember my work? Is there something that I want to leave them with?
Today is an opportunity to answer the question. It is an unwritten script that I will write with my actions. I may not think I have the needed answers. Regardless, the story will unfold. It is a chance to be intentional.