I think about my mortality often, especially in the context of the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. My impetus for this has only intensified as my boys have gotten older, because I have this desire to leave something behind for them. (And I don't want that inheritance to be material or monetary.)
The thing about kids are that they neither have the vocabulary or experience to understand very nuanced things. Jeanne (my wife, for those that don't stalk us on Instagram) & I are very intentional about talking to the boys about our values and implementing routines / rituals (like regular exercise) as much as we can. But ultimately they are unlikely to fully understand what we're on about.
With every line you read
You illuminate more of me
Connecting two more dots
In the universe of the truest me
In the past week, we were lucky enough to host Andrew (who tweeted about it) and Olivia for dinner. The question of heritage came up and whether one should even bother to teach our kids about that.
I remembered a story that Dan Martell tells about how a primary consideration and motivation for his YouTube channel is to leave something of significant value and about himself for his boys.
That is legacy. That is why heritage and values are important.
That is a big part of why I write too... I have so many notebooks filled with thoughts. Filled with all of me. And maybe one day my boys want more context about who I was / am.
Actions speak louder than words only until we're not here to take action any more.
One of the reasons I am publishing my poetry (my debut book, Motion, is out next week) is to leave breadcrumbs for my boys to retrace all the parts of me they perhaps never knew or saw or understood. When I'm not around anymore, I want to leave them a way to still find (more of) me.
Maybe one day they read these words I left behind and feel as lost as I did the first time I read Marcus Aurelius' Meditations or Thoreau's thoughts and ideas from Walden.
Hopefully though they will persist with my words to eventually sift through enough hubris to find something previously unknown and something that inspires them to discover and manifest more of their truest self.
That is a legacy we could all pursue.