The Power of Legacy
One of the main purposes of InspireConversation.com is to help parents in their quest to raise children who live compassionate and ethical lives, and act with empathy towards others. We strive to help parents teach children to become adults who care deeply about their communities, and work to better them.
We do this by sharing stories, tales from all over the world and many news stories that highlight these key values and create teachable moments. Our hope is that by discussing behaviors that are negative, positive, or perhaps in between – that families can arrive at conclusions together about actions to avoid, to emulate, and where certain lines are.
Through stories of role models and exemplary actions taken by great people, we see how high the bar has been set by those who have lived lives in service to others, and we can establish goals to live our lives along the principles they have laid out. Sometimes these stories come from those we read about who are today’s role models. At other times, these great lessons come from stories about those who have passed on.
There are important lessons to be learned from the lives of great men and women who are no longer alive, as well as the words written about them by others. People who have lived exemplary lives provide some of these powerful, teachable moments for our children. A person who lived their life with high principles and solid convictions lives on in the lives of those touched by it.
We are privileged to share some thoughts about two such men who recently passed away. The sons of these men wrote words about their fathers we thought were well worth sharing. We should all be so fortunate as to kindle this sort of closeness and respect between generations. Besides demonstrating the importance of family and examples of relationships to emulate, they also share the wisdom of two special men, with words and thoughts we all can live by. We have adapted and woven together some of these thoughts written by the sons of these men, and list them below:
Lessons Learned By Sons From Fathers – The Power of Legacy:
Every child is a miracle. Life is a wonderful gift, and one too often taken for granted. Every child brought into this world is unique, special, and a treasure to be appreciated. We need to remember the preciousness of life, and make the most of every moment.
Kindness and positivity are contagious. While we may not always be able to influence a situation directly, we can bring a great attitude and our best selves to the table. A smile, some hope, and a show of compassion can go a long way to helping others. When we exhibit positivity in our lives, it has a way of influencing others to do the same.
Empowerment frees people to reach their potential. As much as we may want push and direct others, especially our children, we need to remember that allowing them to learn on their own is so important to their development. Empowering our children to make choices and back them up allows them to find their path and to own it. We don’t need to run the show. It is also a privilege to help our children find their own voice.
Parenting and teaching are acts of love. To raise a child or teach any other human being is to nurture them. These acts go beyond the scope of any particular lesson, and offer opportunities to really touch another human being. Treat each opportunity to work with another person as an act of love and you will both grow, together.
Respectful, loving lives filled with acts of kindness. One of the greatest goals in life should be to act with kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. Stop trying to get more or to “win,” and start trying to act well towards others – it is more rewarding, as well as one of the greatest kinds of success any of us can ask for.
As we travel through life, try to touch many (and different) kinds of people. It can be easy to lock into our own little bubbles of community, filled with the same people we interact with everyday. Part of the richness of the human experience lies in the diversity of other people. We can learn from other cultures, nations, faiths, and walks of life. We lose when we only seek out those who are similar to us, act like us, or who are similarly situated to us. By pushing ourselves to find, to interact with, and to touch people from many walks of life, we not only enjoy more opportunities to grow, but we help make our mark on the world more impactful.
Characteristics to have – kindness, charm, & devotion to loved ones and friends. We should prioritize self improvement and service to others. While there is nothing wrong with being successful in life, we must also strive to be good people. We need to look for what we can do for others, and how we can care for those around us. These characteristics will present themselves as their own kind of success – a life worth living.
The extreme importance of honesty in business. Making and having “more” loses all meaning if it comes at the expense of our integrity. It can be all too easy to lose ourselves in the quest for money, power, or success. Honesty needs to come first and foremost. The people we are matters so much more than the money we make.
Don’t be tempted into spending money you don’t have, or to borrow money you are not sure you can pay back. Beyond just making sure our finances are in order, we must live and act within our means. We need to follow through on promises and keep true to our word.
The importance of tremendous patience. Having patience is about recognizing that the world does not revolve around us. We need to think about the needs and emotions of others around us, and to be as sensitive to others as we would hope they might be to us. Acting with patience makes us better people and people better able to act in all areas of our lives.
Goodness of heart. A kind heart, a gentle demeanor, and an ability to place others ahead of ourselves may sound like lofty ideals, but they are within the reach of each of us. Acting with compassion and kindness should be one of the most important goals one should strive for.
Seize the opportunity to help people in need, making them believe in themselves and in their abilities to secure a brighter future. No matter what our station in life, there are always opportunities to be of service. Our ability to help our fellow man will not only enhance their lives, but ours as well. We will see these opportunities to help others in need when our eyes are open to them, and through them we will find some of life’s greatest rewards.
These principles modeled by these two men have touched and inspired us. They are great lessons and examples for us to live by, models to base our own families on, and instructions to teach our children as to how they should conduct their own lives. We should all hope and strive to leave behind legacies as rich as these. We should also make every effort to educate our children about the men and women who came before them. Sit down and talk with them about relatives who have passed on, the great mentors and teachers in your lives, as well as global figures with worthy legacies. Teach children that while the here and now are important, we also have a great deal to learn from the past. The lessons of those who have come before us can help to shape us and help us to shape our children, who will in turn shape our future.
This piece was inspired by, and is written in memory of, Jules Alex Rothschild and Richard Lakin. They were two individuals who, as far as we know, did not know one another. However, they have had much to teach not only the family and friends they left behind, but all of us.
If you valued your discussion of this article, we recommend our past piece, “The Importance of Family History & Family Stories.”