“I believe… that each man should leave his legacy, that man’s be it great or be it small.” This is what the band Cross Canadian Ragweed believes in their song “Proud Souls” and this I believe.
Steve Prefontaine and Arturius Castus (King Arthur) both left a legacy for future generations. The Woolf brothers also left legacies. Steve Prefontaine was a world renowned distance runner. Eric and Ryan Woolf ran track and cross-country at Tipton High School. King Arthur was an infamous Roman commander. Eric and Ryan were platoon leaders in Iraq and Afghanistan. People around the world know the names of Steve Prefontaine and Arturius Castus. Some people in the small town of Tipton, Indiana know the names of Eric and Ryan Woolf. Movies have been made about Pre and King Arthur. There aren’t any movies, and probably never will be, about the Woolf brothers but they still have legacies of their own. Track coaches still tell me about the gutsy two mile Ryan ran at sectionals and about warming up with him in the pouring rain. My dad loves to tell and retell stories about Eric’s tour in Iraq. I’m not saying that Eric and Ryan are any better or even equal to Steve Prefontaine and King Arthur in athletic and leadership abilities but they have done great things. Every person left a model for someone else to follow. Ryan and Pre left showed us how to run with guts. Eric and King Arthur showed us how to be affective leaders. The Woolf brothers won’t live in history forever but at least they have people telling their stories and people following their examples.
Every man, no matter how old or young, rich or poor, or weak or powerful, has the ability to have on impact on other people. It is easy to see the legacies grandparents and parents leave. They teach children how to love, live, and give. However, a person doesn’t have to have children to give something to society. We all can learn from the legacies of everyday people, we just have to observe how they go about their lives. The actions of those we watch as we grow up affect us more than the actions of past heroes. The characteristics, both positive and negative, of ordinary people shape the person we become. I grew up watching and admiring the actions of Eric and Ryan Woolf. I copied what they said and what they did. As a little boy I believed in everything that Eric and Ryan represented. My life was shaped by the path that the Woolf brothers, two young average men, left for me to follow.
I believe that every person impacts somebody’s life everyday. I believe that every person leaves a legacy. Every person leaves a model for someone else in the next generation to follow.