“My mother always told me that as you go through life, no matter what you do, or how you do it, you leave a little footprint, and that’s your legacy.”
Legacy is a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human. We are able to look back on what we’ve accomplished, examine what we are currently achieving, and gaze forward with anticipation of what we might undertake. We are able to do so with the help of others, those who are older than us and also those who are younger than us.
Even though I am still young, I have often wondered about my own legacy. What will be some of the things that people will remember about me? What is the impact that I will have on the people that I meet in life? Like most people, I hope that my legacy is a positive one. I can attempt to achieve this goal by looking at other’s legacies: how were they able to leave their little footprint with the things they did?
Serving Senior Citizens
As a part of Peñasquitos Christian Preschool’s (PLC) (San Diego, California) “A Week to Serve and Be Thankful”, our preschoolers helped serve the Senior Citizens who attend Peñasquitos Lutheran Church. This group of retirees refer to themselves as the OK Club, standing for “Older Kids with Big Heart”. They meet together to enjoy food and fellowship with one another.
This week, the children at PCP were given the opportunity to assist in setting the tables before the OK Club came to eat. The children helped set out the plates and napkins, and were able to add a handmade touch to the place settings. These were made up of various crafts the children had completed, ranging from cards decorated with Thanksgiving and fall-themed stickers to painted pumpkins.
In addition to serving the OK Club, the students were able to put on a concert and sing a few songs that we typically sing at Chapel. These songs included “Jump, Jump, Jump”, “Captain Noah’s Floating Zoo”, “Jesus Loves Me”, and “My God is so Great”. The children have been working on these songs, and were happy to perform on stage in front of this group.
It was clear to see during the performance how much the OK Club enjoyed this time. Perhaps this was because a child singing reminded the older person in the audience of his granddaughter. Or maybe they loved seeing this next generation singing songs about Jesus. But I would like to think they were able to appreciate this recital because of nostalgia. The members of the OK Club were given this time to reminisce and think about their legacy. Sure, they might be reminded of their granddaughter, but they also think back to the lessons they taught this young girl. What are some of the things she will remember her grandfather by?
Even though we weren’t able to see their reactions of the place-settings, I think the same effect took place. Maybe once someone saw the cards on the table with the stick figures drawn and pictures with coloring outside of the line, they were transported to a time when they themselves were preschoolers. They were reminded of their teachers and what impact they had on their lives. And again, they were prompted to think about their own grandchildren and what impact their lives affect this generation.
The Next Generation’s Legacy
In addition to the OK Club pondering about their legacy, it’s possible that our preschoolers were doing the same thing. At a young age, children begin to understand that what they do matters. They understand that pushing a crayon onto paper creates that color, and that they can control that crayon to draw what they want. In the same way, they start to realize that their lives have importance and they impact the world around them. At this event, the children were thinking about what they would like to do as they get older. Maybe they want to be a policeman to help people, or a veterinarian to help animals. Either way, they are already beginning to wonder what their own little footprints will be.
How do you want people to remember you? What things are you doing today that will make a difference tomorrow? Will these be positive effects, ones that you hope future generations are proud to look back on? And will they be ones you look forward to sharing to your grandchildren?
Remember that every day, we make an impact. We influence other people’s lives. We make a difference. And we leave a little footprint as our legacy!