As a person who is nearing retirement myself, something about my dad's memorial service, a week ago, strikes me as profound. Where was the talk and reflection about the career years? Not one speaker spoke of the workplaces in which he spent so much time. Outside of one line, prepared by my brother and me, there was not a single mention of his primary job. Instead, the people who spoke - an elder, a preacher, a school secretary, a Spanish teacher, a granddaughter, and a wife - spoke about the man, not an employee. They talked about his spirit, his influence, and his generosity. They spoke to his passion for his family, his garage sale hijinks, and his Scriptural accuracy. We remembered his senses of humor and adventure.
It turns out that my legacy is not based on a job. It's not about clocking in and out of a nine-to-five job. It's not about answering to a boss, delivering a quota, or passing professional development exams. Legacy is more about a person's character. It's about priorities and dedication to right. Legacy is something passed to others: a giving spirit, a desire for peace, a steadfast devotion to morality, the dream of something new and different. We create our legacy, based not on a statement of faith, but on a code of conduct and a demonstration of upstanding behavior.