What we leave behind

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Every day is an exciting and equally exhausting experience when it comes to my daughter. Her sense of curiosity, intensity of focus, and determination have been sources of inspiration for me. Watching her grow and take on new challenges gives me an extra dose of determination to push through whatever challenges I may face.

At times, it can be hard to believe that my tiny human is only nine months old. The joy she brings is amazing and in such a short time she’s already given me so much.

With all, I’ve been blessed with, will what I’ve been able to accomplish leave behind a legacy she can be proud of?

Ancestral Responsibility

As the future ancestors of generations to come, we have been given a huge responsibility to set a proper example.

Although at this point we’re in the position to give guidance, instill values, virtue and love, one day we’ll be the ones who need to be taken care of.

What we leave behind nowadays is even more in depth thanks to the rise of social media and other forms of Internet usage. Each time we hit like, share an update, or even post a picture, we leave behind a thread that ties who we say we are to who we truly are.

No matter how well we dress to go to work, church or some other type of event, we can never run away from the things we leave behind on our social media networks. Yet, it seems our love for gossip, the latest in fashion, tech and the feeling of purpose we get from meaningless likes has somehow blinded us from what our true purpose is as individuals.

This is not ok.

Nowhere in our lives was it originally designed for us to keep up with the neighbors. Unless it was in a manner that encouraged love, community, and individual growth. So why is it that we find ourselves enslaved to consuming brain junk food?

Garbage in, garbage out goes that old saying. Whatever we put into our minds tends to end up finding its way out, from the way we act, the goals we set and even what our children see.

Doing the least and expecting the most is no longer acceptable, besides taking credit for the work of others is tacky.

When we allow ourselves to be ignorant towards the cultures of others and our own personal growth, we are just as bad as those we pull down for not being considerate or proper role models. Then again, it is said that’s it’s easier to pull a beam out of someone else’s eye than to see the plank we’re walking around within our own eye.

The change we seek

So when it comes down to what we leave behind for the next generation to learn from, how many of those status updates seem like a good idea now? Do the things we say as parents and leaders stand up in comparison to the things we post online? Are we setting a proper example for generations to come?

Lately, there has been much talk about how important it is to watch out for the environment, how bad global warming is but do we ever stop and think that what we do in the digital world of likes and unicorns has something to do with it?

As I look forward I’m struck with a fear that I’ve never known before. The fear that my child will have to inhabit a world where other parents breed children that lack respect, valor and humility.

It terrifies me to know that she will have to experience a world that could have been better, had the parents responsible for these new contributing members of society taken the time to enrich their offspring with the qualities that make a responsible contributor to society.

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do. – Mahatma Ghandi

Everything has a time and place

Not everything needs to be shared. Posting things just for a measly like is a vapid way to live. Unless you’re a business trying to measure interactions within your audience then save that post about what you had for dinner, wore to bed, what your kids did, or how much you hate the service at [insert place here].

The example we set as leaders and ancestors to the next generation is crucial to how the economies and cultures of tomorrow will be built. If all we leave behind are posts of what we ate every night of the week with the hashtag adulting, then maybe we really don’t deserve to be called adults.

No matter how much we preach about what is right, if we aren’t living it, then what’s the point?

So the next time you get online, take an extra moment and ask yourself, is this what I want to leave behind as part of my legacy?

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