Determining Your Legacy
“As you explore new opportunities and new directions, consider this:
• How do I want to make a difference in the world?
• How do I want to be remembered?
• What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind?”
~ Julie Connor, “Dreams to
Action Trailblazer’s Guide”
It’s interesting how quotes taken from random sources can be interpreted. I spent some time reflecting on the column written last week in our Viewpoints section by our former intern Marissa Gould as she prepared to head to college. This week, another of our interns, Joyce Lee, wrote about a senior bonfire held earlier this month by the Crescenta Valley High School ASB (you can read her article on page 12). I thought about the hopes and dreams of these kids and wondered if they considered the legacy they would leave on this earth. That’s when I hit Google to see what interesting quotes were out there about making a difference in the world, about creating a legacy.
I like the one quoted above by Julie Connor. I haven’t read her book, “Dream to Action Trailblazer’s Guide,” which means I can pretty much take her quote and interpret it any way that strikes me. I found it thought provoking. Do we ever contemplate what difference we make in the world? If we do, does it trigger a mid life crisis because we feel we have fallen short of achieving … anything?
I had this great boss in the ’90s. She and I grew really close and at one point we shared how disappointed we were about where we were working. The institution had a lot of promise but had fallen short in what we had hoped it would be. I remember her saying to me that she had thought that place would be her legacy, that the work she did there was going to be the mark she left in the world. She was disappointed to realize it wasn’t. Up to that point I hadn’t really considered what impact I might have beyond my family.
As a mom, I knew that my children would carry on my memory. I really didn’t aspire for anything more. My husband and I had a successful business in the ’80s – we started a cable television company, Crescenta Valley TV. It was important work at the time for our community because a portion of the unincorporated part of La Crescenta didn’t have cable, which meant it didn’t have much television. (This was back in the days of Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13.) We were proud to be able to provide a service to our community and we worked our fannies off.
When we sold it I said that I would “never own my own business again” (famous last words). After all, it was hard work with little time off. In the end, I think it was worth it, but at the time it was just plain hard.
Then in 2009, I decided to launch the CV Weekly. With much help, I rolled up my sleeves and set about getting to work. And for the last five years I’ve pretty much kept my head down, focusing on getting the very best resource out to the community I love so much.
Sometimes when we’re so deep in what we’re doing we forget that we’re making a difference. For me, that difference is in the lives of our readers. When we publish a photo of a kid in a school play, that picture may be clipped out and sent to grandparents or pasted into a baby book. Or an article might inspire change.
Someone said that 50 years from now, the Crescenta Valley Weekly will be a chronicle for what is happening in our valley. It will be looked upon as something to be referenced to learn where we came from and, perhaps, have an indication of where we might be going.
An exciting concept and one, I think, that may be “legacy