Day 22: Legacy?

Posted by on Jan 22, 2012

Day 22:  Legacy?

Day 22.  Today was all about the past.  Not my personal past but the past of the organization my documentary is about.  It has a long and amazing history dating back over 40 years now.  The organization was conceived a year after I was.  Unbelievable. I spent the day watching an interview we did with the founder and viewing and organizing historical photographs, archival footage and news coverage from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  Back in its nascent stage, the founder didn’t realize what he was starting or where it would go.  He had no idea he would positively affect thousands of lives.  He just wanted to teach his own kid something.  40 years later, he’s able to reflect on his journey and see the incredible legacy he’s created.  I can see it, too, and I can’t wait to share it, I hope with the world.

History is a heavy word.  “Oh, they have history.”  We’re supposed to learn from history.  Forget about history.  Use our history to make a better future.  All this reflection on history—my own, the organization’s—has me thinking about legacies in general.  I wonder if I will leave a legacy in another 40 years.  I wonder if I’ll still be alive in 40 years.  If I am, what will my legacy be?  Will it be small—affecting just those closest to me?  Will it be broader encompassing a nation—like the definition of legacy suggests?  Legacy: noun, anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.  Who exactly gets credit for the legacy of ancient Rome?  Caesar?  Mark Antony?  Cicero?  Showtime’s Rome?  I can’t imagine my life taking that kind of influential turn but I do hope my collective actions lead to, at a minimum, a positive mark of some kind in my little microcosm.

Legacy?

Although I haven’t made the switch to the new layout, Facebook is offering their services to show you your historical timeline, basically your Facebook legacy to date.  This reminds me that we are all constantly leaving a legacy of some kind in some way to someone somewhere at some time.  The real question is can we be more conscious of the tracks we’re laying down that lead to our cumulative legacy?   Do we want to be that calculated in our life choices?  I don’t know, maybe, a little?  What kind of legacy are our drunken photos on Facebook’s Timeline creating?  Sure, it was fun in the moment but mortifying upon sobering up.  Luckily we can “un-tag” ourselves but that choice is still out in the ethers.  I’m not big into censoring others or myself so that’s not what I’m suggesting at all.  I’m not sure what, exactly, I am suggesting other than as I think outside the box inside the box and create from what I have I really understand now that I have an opportunity—an opportunity to leave a legacy of my choosing.  And I choose to create from what I have.  That’s all I can do, really.  We’ll see what it looks like in 40 years.

Until tomorrow, create from what you have…the opportunity to leave a legacy of your choosing.

Kelli Joan Bennett is a filmmaker, actress, writer, entrepreneur, advocate for creative thinking and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Think Outside The Box Inside The Box Media.

 

2 Comments

  1. I think it is a very interesting thing, our own personal Facebook legacy. I have only seen a handful of my grandparents photos and even fewer of my relatives further back. My grandkids however are going to have access to a very detailed picture of who I was, what I looked like, and how I lived. It is sometimes strange to think about that. The decisions I make today. The pictures I post. Someday I am going to have to answer questions about it. “Grandma, why are only wearing your underwear in front of a theatre full of people?” “Well kids, Grandma did a show called The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” I think that is a little personal legacy. We all are molding one on the internet. For our kids and grandkids to see.

    • I love these thoughts, Tristan, thank you for sharing!

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