There is a song by Contemporary Christian artist Nichole Nordeman entitled “Legacy” that I memorized a few years back. I only heard it a few times before I could sing along with every word, a skill that is not particularly common with me. I think I acquired this talent by the intense connection I made between my own heart’s desires and Nichole’s as she sang over the radio. Through her inspired lyrics, she expresses her wish to be remembered, not for being musician, but for the life that she leads. The song starts as follows:
I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
And you can take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the “who’s who’s” and so-and-so’s
That used to be the best at such and such
It wouldn’t matter much
I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an “atta boy” or “atta girl”
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world
I haven’t heard that song in quite some time and since then I have changed my preference in music genre . Still, the powerful lyrics have left a lasting imprint on my mind.
Perhaps this is because I too want to be remembered, but not in a way that benefits only me. I want to know that when I am gone, my life is worth something, that someone appreciated me while I was here and takes the time to think of me now and again. Just one person to say that I impacted their life in a positive way or promise not to forget my existence, like I was never even here. I don’t want to be like a footprint in the sand that gets washed away by the ocean waves only moments after it has been impressed, forever unseen. Maybe we all have this desire embedded within us
I certainly don’t need a monument erected in my honor, my work in a certain field studied, a book that captures my life story, or my name proclaimed leisurely around the dinner table in order to feel accomplished. Such acclamation would be too much for me to handle and far beyond my wishes. Besides, only the few and far between can possibly reach this height of recognition.
For me, I have the simple things. I can tell my family everyday how much I love them. I can let my friends know that without their companionship, my life may have been shaped much differently. I can invest in the lives of others with love and sincere interest in order to be remembered for more than deeds, for character.
I believe in leaving a “Legacy,” being the tune that is carried on in the hearts of those whom I love no matter how far distance and time may take us. I believe in being remembered.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.