Recently, I saw a great video piece done by ESPN that told the story of four grown brothers, who are all football coaches at the college level. The story was not as much about the brothers as it was their father. The video got me thinking a lot about legacy. Here, watch the video and then, I'll continue…
Legacy is defined as, "A thing handed down by a predecessor." You, father of children, are a predecessor. If things go in the order that all fathers hope, your family will be gathered someday to talk about your life. You will be gone. They will be left behind. Have you ever thought about what your family will say about you?
What they'll say about you will describe your legacy left to your children.
How will these statements be finished by your children?
- "When it came to spending time with us, Dad…"
- "As I watched my dad with my mom (or stepmom), I could tell…"
- "The funniest thing my dad would do was…"
- "When it came to other people, Dad was always…"
- "When dad got mad, he…"
- "When I was in trouble, Dad…"
- "When it came to Dad's work life, he…"
- "When I heard others talk about my dad,…"
- "When it came to my Dad's faith,…"
- "When it came to money, Dad…"
- "When it came to food, Dad…"
Of course, I could go on and on.
So, dad, are you living your life in such a way that would make you proud to hear the rest of the statements above from your children, or would they bring pain?
Would the statements be finished with words including "loving," "self-controlled," "disciplined," "careful," "kind," "respectful" "humble" and "generous," or would the words be more like, "distant," "angry," "selfish," "sloppy," "rude," "grouchy," "prideful" and "careless?"
If you live for nothing else, father, live to leave a legacy that your children will be proud to talk about. ESPN may not be there to film it, set it to music and share it with millions, but it will be just as important to those now little people who will look to you, today and tomorrow, and to those who will look to them, someday.
Live to leave the kind of legacy that when your children are asked to tell about you, they'll begin their words with a smile