|Forget me not. Not ever.|
Yesterday, I attended a panel discussion about planning for one's legacy and thinking about what you want the people in your life to "inherit" from you. I put the word "inherit" in quotes because the panelists urged us to think about inheritance as more than just the passing of money and property from one generation to the next, but also the passing of values, aspirations and personal philosophies to live by. As an ice breaker, attendees were asked to share with the person next to them "three words you hope others think of when describing you". I froze. I looked at the stranger next to me and thought "3 words? How do I pick 3 words that perfectly paint me in the light I want to be viewed!?" Pressed for time, I blurted out Kind, Fun and Unique.
In hindsight, these choices seem a bit simple, even lame, and they definitely leave traits I deeply value on the sidelines, but you know what? I stand by my answer. When I think about what people should "inherit" from me, I hope it's a world view focused on being kind to others, never forgetting to have fun and maintaining a life that is uniquely you.
The timing of this exercise also seemed apropos, since today marks 4 years since the unexpected passing of one of my most cherished friends. Though the pain of this loss never fully retreats, today I can think more clearly about her absence... I can be inspired trying to pick 3 words I'd use to describe her and think about what she might have wanted me to "inherit". I can try to embody that inheritance and pass along my own.
What are your 3 words? What do you want your loved ones to inherit?