I’ve heard many people say that they just live their life the best they can and don’t concern themselves too much with what others think about them. To a degree, that may be true earlier in life, but the older we get, the more important it becomes and it manifests itself through what we call “legacy.”

This past weekend, I took my Mother to see her sister, whose husband was celebrating his 90th birthday. As we pulled up in their driveway, my Uncle Harley, a retired lumberjack, was outside in 97 degree heat mowing his yard. As we sat down to dinner that evening, every vegetable on the table had come from their garden, which he and Aunt Eula been planting and tending for the 48 years they’ve lived in their home. By the way, attached to their home is a beauty shop that Aunt Eula had worked in up until just two years ago, when one of her knees had to be replaced. She’s 85 years old. The only income they have and live on is Social Security. They go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and they love the pastor and his wife.

I spent the entire weekend just observing them, listening to the way they interacted with each other, and taking joy in a “love language” that had been developed over 68 years of marriage. If you were to ask my Uncle Harley and Aunt Eula what legacy they’ve left behind, they’d both just look at you, laugh and tell you they didn’t have a clue.

The next day, when we took them to a surprise celebration of Uncle Harley’s 90th birthday, their legacy was in full display. If looked like almost the entire town had turned out. Relatives they hadn’t seen in years flew in from long distances, and their entire extended family was present. Many stood up and gave testimony to the impact that both of them had in their lives.

My friends, you’ve just read the definition of “legacy;” a simple, relevant, compelling life that will never be forgotten.

Till the next post, Safe Journeys!

Published by The Leadership Consortium

Maxie Carpenter was formerly Vice President of HR & Talent Development for Wal-Mart Stores. After a 27-year career, he began to pursue a number of other interests, which included alternative education, nonprofits, consulting, writing and public speaking.

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