There are a beautiful poem and web movie that capture the essence of what Creating Legacy is all about. I've reprinted it below, with all attribution and gratitude to its author Michael Josephson. The poem and movie themselves are examples of what I would call "participation only" legacy projects – tangible, beneficial and lasting – though very simple and simply executed.
Those legacy projects support the bigger one – representing Josephson's other legacy project. The Josephson Institute is devoted to teaching ethics, a subject near and dear to my heart, too. It is a project of the combination "participation + financial" variety. It is organized as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization so it can offer a tax deduction to people who contribute in-cash or in-kind to its mission. And it has developed products in keeping with its mission that generate revenue, as well. A stunning example of legacy development and delivery from the very grass roots to organizational level execution!
What Will Matter©
By author: Michael Josephson
Link to the movie version: http://josephsoninstitute.org/movie_whatwillmatter.html (watch it – it's beautiful!)
Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
©2011 Josephson Institute. Reprinted with permission. www.JosephsonInstitute.org